The Abuja division of the Federal High Court has ordered Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe and two others who stood as sureties for the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, to within two months pay the sum of N300 million into the court’s account as penalty for their inability to produce him in court.
Justice Binta Nyako was irked by the absence of the sureties in court (except Tochukwu Uchendu) in flagrant disobedience of the order of court directing them to produce Kanu in court yesterday.
Other sureties affected by the order of court are Bem El Shalom, a Jewish Priest and Tochukwu Uchendu, an Accountant.
Justice Nyako ordered the three sureties who had in April 2017, took Nnamdi Kanu on bail to pay the sum of N100m each into the court’s account.
The interim order, however, has a life span of six months
Besides, the N100m bail bond, each of the sureties equally attached their landed assets and deposit the relevant landed documents with the court.
When the case was called yesterday, both Senator Abaribe and the Jewish Priest were absent in court.
While counsel to Abaribe, Chukwuma Machukwu-Ume, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), said his client was outside the country for an oversight function, Alloy Ejimafor, said his client, the Jewish Priest, was not in court on medical.
The missing Biafran leader was arraigned before the court with Chidibere Onwudiwe; Benjamin Madubugwu; David Nwawusi and Bright Chimeze on charges of treasonable felony.
However, following Kanu’s sudden disappearance after a military operation at his home in Afara- Ukwu, in Abia State on September 14, 2017, his trial had been separated from that of his co-accused.
Meanwhile, one of the sureties, Tochukwu Uchendu, has asked the court to discharging him from the obligation under the bail conditions.
In a motion on notice filed by his counsel, Frank Chude, Uchendu further sought an order of court directing the Nigerian Police to arrest Nnamdi Kanu.
The applicant, who rooted his motion on seven grounds submitted that while Nnamdi Kanu was on bail, he had confrontation with the military, which is an arm of the State and since then, his whereabouts is unknown and he has not being seen.
He told the court that the military interfered with his duty to produce Kanu in court after the invasion of his residence on September 14, 2017, “which ostensibly frustrated his bail and made it impossible for me to bring him as stipulated by the terms of the bail.”
In the motion on notice with 32 paragraph supporting affidavit, Uchendu deposed to the fact that the facts emerging is that Kanu is out of the country and only the State that can now produce him in court.
Although the defense counsel made passionate appeal for the court to give their client another opportunity to appear in court, the court. refused to shift ground.
Justice Nyako explained that the action of the court was to make the sureties take the court serious.
“The sureties are taking the court for granted and they don’t even border. I adjourned this case for today since May 26, 2018 for them to produce Nnamdi Kanu in court today or to forfeit their bail bond.
“This order will teach you a lesson that before you take anybody on bail, you must ensure it is someone you can vouched for and can produce him to court anytime the court needs him.
“It is the responsibility which the sureties took and the consequence is that they will forfeit their bail bonds.
The judge has fixed March 28 for the hearing of the motions filed by the sureties to challenging the duties imposed on them to produce the IPOB leader
Meanwhile, the trial of the co- accused persons,who are standing separate trial was yesterday stalled due to the absence of prosecution witness.
Their case has been adjourned to March 26 and 27, 2018 for hearing. The Sun