By Umar Muhammad Puma
A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, yesterday gave Senator Abaribe and two others, who volunteered as sureties for the self-styled leader of the of the terrorist Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) Nnamdi Kanu, to appear before it and explain why Kanu did not appear for his trial.
Senator Enyinaya Abaribe, who represents Abia South Senatorial District at the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, had reportedly boasted recently during the period the idea of plan to shift the blame for “Kanu missing” to the Nigerian Army that nobody could hold him responsible for the disappearance of the IPOB leader now at large.
Justice Binta Nyako, who gave the order summoning the Senator and two other sureties, said in the alternative they would forfeit the N100 million bail bond each of them agreed to pay in the absence of Mr. Kanu.
The prosecutor Sulaiman Labaran had informed the court that Kanu, who had violated all of his bail conditions also failed to appear in court and as a result of that the court should revoke his bail and compel him to appear before the court or in the alternative ask his sureties to produce him in court.
Responding, counsel to Kanu, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, informed the court that he was also looking for his client.
He had filed a suit asking the court to compel the Nigerian Army to produce the self-styled leader of IPOB because, the counsel claimed, his disappearance was unconnected with the invasion of his home by the Nigerian Army on September 11, 2017.
Earlier, Senator Abaribe asked the court to make an order discharging him as surety to Kanu. The Senator prayed the court to discharge him entirely from the incidence of Kanu’s bail.
He also asked to be discharged of the bond used for Kanu’s bail and a refund of N100 million or any other bond paid to the court sequel to the bail.
The grounds upon which Senator Abaribe sought the reliefs include his claim that the Nigerian Army during a raid at the residence of the IPOB leader engaged in a fracas with members of the group which has been proscribed by the Federal Government.
Abaribe said since the raid by the Nigerian Army, the first defendant had not been seen or reached.
He also said Kanu was yet to make any public appearance or any statement since the raid.
Abaribe said: “Since the aforestated visit of the Nigerian Army to the residence of the first defendant from September 11, 2017, the second respondent in this suit has not been seen again nor reached on phone the applicant neither is he reported in any news media as seen by any person nor made any statement on any issue.”
The Senator said since September 20, the report in the media is that the first respondent (Federal Government) has proscribed IPOB an organization led by Kanu and declared the organization a terrorist organization.
He said security agencies of the Federal Government are interested in the second respondent.
“The activities of the Nigerian Army as affecting the first respondent are matters of state secret incapable of being unraveled by the applicant which activities have put the second respondent out of the reach of the applicant such that the applicant cannot reasonably be expected to produce the second respondent before this court at any subsequent date.
“The applicant lacks the capacity to produce a person stated by the first respondent to be a member of a terrorist organization or any person who the first respondent is reported to be interested in his whereabouts in the aftermath of the military operation in Abia state,” Abaribe said in his application.
Application by Abaribe not withstanding, he and two other sureties face sanctions should not be able to produce Kanu on the date of summon..