Court orders Abaribe, two others to produce Kanu

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Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court Abuja on Wednesday ordered the senator representing Abia South in the Senate, Enyinnaya Abaribe, and two others  to produce the missing leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, in court on June 26.

Kanu, who has pending charges of treasonable felony against him before the court, has not been seen since September 22, 2017.

His team of lawyers and family declared him missing after soldiers allegedly invaded his home in Abia State during a military operation staged by the Nigerian Army to quell the secessionist activities of IPOB in the South-East geopolitical zone.

Abaribe and two others – Tochukwu Uchendu and Emmanuel Shallom Ben – had, as sureties for Kanu, each signed a N100m bond for the bail granted the IPOB leader in April last year.

Due to Kanu’s persistent absence from court, Justice Nyako had on February 20, 2018, ordered the separation of his trial from that of his rest of co-defendants.

The prosecution led by Mr. Shuaibu Labaran of the Department of Public Prosecutions of the Federal Ministry of Justice, had subsequently arraigned the IPOB leader’s former co-defendants on March 20, 2018 on amended charges.

On Wednesday, the three sureties were present with their lawyers in court but Kanu was absent.

While Abaribe was represented by Chukwuma Umeh (SAN), Tochukwu was represented by Franklin Chude, and Shallom-Ben was represented by Alloy Ejimakor.

The lead prosecuting counsel, Labaran, urged the judge to direct the three sureties to “show cause” as to why they should not forfeit the bail bond or be jailed for their failure to produce Kanu.

But Abaribe’s lawyer urged the court to ignore the prosecutor’s submission contending that the enrolled order of the court made on February 20, 2018, was not served on the sureties.

Labaran however noted that Abaribe’s lawyer had been aware of the court’s order since 2017, and that the  court had thereafter given the three sureties time to “show cause.”

He noted that that Umeh had filed an application as to why Abaribe could not produce Kanu in court. The court, in its reaction, ordered the prosecution to serve the enrolled order on the sureties.

The judge then adjourned till June 26 for the sureties to show cause on why they should not forfeit the bail bond or go to jail.

Punch

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