by Kunle Olasanmi, Abuja
A Federal High Court in Abuja yesterday ordered Senator Enyinaya Abaribe and two others standing as sureties for the leader of the proscribed indigenous people of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, to explain the whereabouts of the IPOB leader.
The court headed by Justice Binta Nyako had granted bail to Kanu on April 24, 2017 under certain stringent conditions, but the IPOB leader has at various times flouted some of his bail conditions.
Kanu was absent from the court yesterday when his trial resumed, while prison officials produced his three co-defendants in court.
During yesterday’s proceedings in court, Kanu’s lawyer, Mr. Ifeanyi Ejiofor, told the judge that Kanu 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.
A lawyer, Mr. Ogechi Ogunna, who appeared for Abaribe informed the judge that his client had filed a motion seeking to be discharged as Kanu’s surety.
The two other sureties, Immanuel Shalum Okabenmabu and Tochukwu Uchendu, were absent from court and were not represented by any lawyer.
During the proceedings, Justice Nyako said she was not going to hear any motion until Kanu is produced in court.
The judge gave Senator Abaribe three options, including that he should produce the defendant (Kanu) in court and then apply to be discharged as a surety.
The second option the judge gave was for Abaribe to be ready to forfeit his N100 million bail bond, while the third option is for Abaribe to request to be given time to produce the defendant in court.
Responding, counsel to the lawmaker, Ogunna, said, “He (Abaribe) is not in a position to do any of these”.
But 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 in court.
The prosecution counsel, Mr. Shuaibu Labaran, told the court that Kanu was not present in court, even as he urged the judge to revoke his bail, order for his arrest and direct the defendants’ three sureties “to show cause why the bail bond of N100 million entered into by each should not be forfeited or they be committed to prison”.
The trial was adjourned to November 20.