From: Godwin Tsa, Abuja
A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has ordered Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, and two others standing as sureties for the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, to produce him in court and explain the IPOB leader’s whereabouts or forfeit the N100 million bail bond and face jail term.
This order equally applied to the two other sureties who stood bail for Kanu.
Nnamdi kanu’s whereabouts is yet to be known following the invading of his home in Umuahia by men of the Nigerian army, under the Operation Python Dance II.
The Federal Government is arraigning Kanu and three others before a Federal High Court in Abuja on a five count criminal charge bordering on treasonable felony.
He was however granted bail by the judge on April 24, 2017, on health grounds by Justice Binta Nyako.
Those who stood sureties for him were the Chairman of the Senate’s South East Caucus, Enyinnaya Abaribe; a Jewish priest, Immanuu-El Shalom and an accountant and Abuja resident, Tochukwu Uchendu.
Before Tuesday’s proceeding, the federal government in one of the applications has asked the court to revoke the bail granted to Kanu, which appeared to have been allegedly breached by the IPOB leader since he was allowed to go home on bail.
When the case came up, Kanu was absent in court while his three other pro- Biafra agitators standing trial with him, Chidiebere Onwudiwe, Benjamin Madubugwu, David Nwawuisi and Bright Chimezie were produced in court by prison officials.
His counsel, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, told the judge that his client had been missing after soldiers allegedly invaded the IPOB leader’s home on September 14, 2017, adding that the Nigerian Army was in the best position to produce the defendant.
Meanwhile, a lawyer, Mr. Ogechi Ogunna, who appeared for Abaribe, informed the court that his client had filed a motion seeking to be discharged as Kanu’s surety.
But the two other sureties, Immanuel Shalum Okabenmabu and Tochukwu Uchendu, were absent from court and not represented by any lawyer on Tuesday.
Responding to Abaribe’s application, Justice Nyako said his motion could not be heard until Kanu was produced in court.
Justice Nyako handed down three three options for Senator Abaribe’s to fulfil.
One of the options was for Abaribe to produce the defendant in court and then apply to be discharged as a surety.
The other option the judge gave was for Abaribe to be ready to forfeit his N100m bail bond.
While the third option was for Abaribe to request to be given time to produce the defendant in court.
Abaribe’s counsel, Ogunna replied saying, “he (Abaribe) is not in a position to do any of these.”
However the judge insisted that Abaribe must opt for one of the three options.
With the judge’s insistence, Ogunna opted to be given time to produce him.
The two other sureties were not represented I court on Tuesday.
Earlier, prosecuting counsel, Mr. Shuaibu Labaran, noting that Kanu was not present in court, urged the judge to revoke defendant’s bail, order for his arrest, and direct the defendants’ three sureties “to show cause why the bail bond of N100m entered into by each shall not be forfeited or they be committed to prison.”
The trial was been adjourned until November 20.
Meantime, Abaribe had in his application that has FG as the 1st respondent, said he “lacks capacity to produce a person stated by the 1st Respondent to be a member of a terrorist organisation, or any persin whom the 1st respondent is reported to be interested in his whereabouts including the aftermat of the military operations in Abia state which commenced about 11th September, 2017”. He specifically prayed the court for an order “discharging the applicant as surety of the 1st/2nd respondent, and discharging the recognizance entered into by the applicant, and to discharge the applicant from the entire incidence of the bail of Nnamdi Kanu- the 1st defendant/2nd respondent in charge No. FHC/Abj/CR/383/2015: Federal Republic of Nigeria v Nnamdi Kanu, Chidiebere Onwudiwe, Benjamin Madubugwu, David Nwawisi. As well as, “An order discharging the bond executed by the applicant for the bail of the 1st Defendant/2nd Respondent in charge No. FHC/Abj/CR/383/2015: Federal Republic of Nigeria v Nnamdi Kanu, Chidiebere Onwudiwe, Benjamin Madubugwu, David Nwawisi and refunding the sum of N100, 000, 000.00 (one hundred million naira only) or any other sum paid into this honourable court or undertaken to this honourable court sequel to the bail of the 2nd respondent”. FG has already filed its own counter motion where it insisted that the federal lawmaker, having vouched for the IPOB leader, must produce him before the court for trial. Meanwhile, two former Aviation Ministers, Chief Osita Chidoka and Femi Fani-Kayode were in court to show solidarity to the “missing” IPOB leader. Speaking to newsmen after the proceeding, Chidoka who is a gubernatorial aspirant in Anambra state, urged the National Assembly to investigate what transpired during the Operation Python Dance II the Army conducted in the South East. Chidoka said he did not believe there was any form of insurrection in the region to warrant deployment of soldiers by FG. On his part, Fani-Kayode asked the Nigerian Army to produce Kanu who he said was only fighting for his constitutionally guaranteed right to self determination. “It is very clear to us that something must have happened to him and I am deeply concerned. If he is indeed in custody of the Army, they should let us know. If he is dead, let them release his dead body. “I call on the Nigerian military to stop this charade. If Kanu is with you, please release him. “The allegation that 28 persons were killed by the military in Kanu’s compound is unacceptable and I say shame on those that may not know Kanu but hear about all these allegations and still stay on the fence. I say shame on them. We are men of courage and we are here today”, Fani-Kayode who wore Igbo chieftaincy attire with a matching red cap, added. Kanu is facing four out of the five count amended charge that borders on treasonable felony, criminal conspiracy and alleged illegal importation of radio transmitters into Nigeria for the dissemination of hate messages. FG, among other things, alleged that Kanu had “on or about the 28th April, 2015 in London, United Kingdom did in a broadcast on Radio Biafra monitored in Enugu, Enugu state and other parts of Nigeria within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, referred to Major General Muhammadu Buhari, GCON, President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as a paedophile, a terrorist, an idiot and an embodiment of evil, knowing same to be false and you thereby committed an offence contrary to section 375 of the Criminal Code Act, Cap C. 38 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004″.