*Matter adjourned to 20th November
Federal High court sitting in Abuja has granted the pleas for time by Senator Enyinaya Abaribe and two other sureties to provide the leader of the proscribed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), Mr. Nnamdi Kanu to face trial in court.
The court presided over by Justice Binta Nyako ordered that the three sureties should produce the first defendant or should be made to appear before the court on the next adjourned date to show cause why the bail bond of N100 million should not be forfeited. Case was adjourned to the 20th November, 2017 for trial.
This order is pursuant to the application of the prosecution led by Mr. Labaran Magaji, Principal Prosecution Counsel in the Federal Ministry of Justice that the bail bond of the sureties be forfeited.
Kanu was supposed to appear before trial judge, Justice Binta Nyako, Tuesday to be re-arraigned on an amended five-count charge marked FHC/ABJ/CR/383/2015, alongside four other pro-Biafra agitators- Chidiebere Onwudiwe, Benjamin Madubugwu, David Nwawuisi and Bright Chimezie.
However, Kanu’s whereabouts has remained unknown, a development that has placed his sureties, including a serving Senator, Enyinnaya Abaribe and a Jewish High Chief Priest, Immanuel El-Shalom, at risk of being sent to prison.
Kanu who is the 1st defendant is facing four out of the five-count amended charge.
It will be recalled that Justice Nyako had in a ruling on 25th April, released Kanu on bail after he had spent a year and seven months in detention, though the court okayed his co-defendants to remain in prison custody.
Both Abaribe who is representing Abia South Senatorial District, El-Shalom and a Chartered Accountant residing in Abuja, Mr. Tochukwu Uchendu, had on 28th April, entered an undertaking to produce Kanu before the court to face his trial and deposited a whooping sum of N100million each.
The judge was furious about Kanu’s absence in court noted that his action is contempt of the court which ordinarily would warrant revocation of the bail conditions, asked the sureties to show cause why their bail bond of N100 million should not be forfeited.
Mr. I. C Ejiofor who is the defence counsel to Nnamdi Kalu told the court that he has not seen or heard from his client since the “Nigerian Army invaded the applicant’s house on a murderous raid, where life and mortar bullets were fired on an unarmed and defenceless populace, leaving 28 persons dead and abducting many”.
But the plaintiff counsel, S. M Labaran, sees Kalu absence as not sufficient enough to frustrate the trial.
“The position of the law is very clear to the effect that when a defendant jumps bail, his surety is made to pay for the offence upon which the trial was made.”
Having listened to the argument of the parties, Justice Binta Nyako adjourned the case to 20th of November for further commencement of the trial.