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Nnamdi Kanu: What is the fate of Eyinnaya Abaribe?

*I signed bail bond to spite prosecution

By Olajide Fashikun

With the certain disappearance of Nnamdi Kanu whose resumed trial is likely to toss up some judicial fury against his surety, Senator Eyinnaya Abaribe who represents the Abia south senatorial district in the Red Chamber.

Soldiers were forced to raid his dad’s compound in Afaraukwu, Umuahia on the 14th September, 2017 due to his activities which were bordering on treasonable functions.

What does the law say if Kanu isn’t produced in court on the next adjourned date of 17th October, 2017? Barrister Gbenga Dada, an Abuja-based legal practitioner said, “all his sureties could be arrested.”

Sources close to Aso Rock said, “the recent visit of the Igbo leaders to President Muhammadu Buhari may not be unconnected with finding a political solution to the impending imbroglio given the fact that the court may be very angry and order the arrest and detention of Kanu’s sureties.”

According to Chief Okoi-Obono Obla who is President Buhari’s Special Assistant on Prosecution, “the implication of the failure of Kanu to appear in court on the next adjourned date on those who stood sureties for his recognisance is that his recognisance shall be forfeited.”

“The court also may issue a warrant of arrest where a defendant (Kanu) bound by a recognisance or bond fails to appear before a court or police station. It follows that if Kanu fails to appear before the Federal High Court on the next adjourned date, the Judge will likely issue a warrant for his arrest.

“It follows that Kanu’s three sureties will be ordered to pay N100million each. Where sufficient cause is not shown by the sureties or the persons bound and the penalty is not paid, the court may recover the penalty from the person bound or from his estate if he is dead, in the manner laid down in the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015, for the recovery of fine.”

“However, where the penalty is not paid and cannot be recovered in the manner laid down by the law, the person bound shall be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months,” Obono-Obla added.

All three persons who signed Kanu’s bail bond now face the prospect of six months behind prison walls or they mobilise between themselves and pay a fine of N300million.

The three sureties who signed Kanu’s bail bond are: Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, Jewish High Chief Priest, Immanuu-El Shalom Okabemadu and a Chartered Accountant who resides in the capital city of Abuja, Tochukwu Uchendu.

Why I signed the bail bond: Recently, Senator Ababribe, 62, a member of opposition party, PDP, said he signed Kanu’s bail bond to spite the prosecution. “It was stated that the person to sign the bond must be a senator. The reason was simple too. They assumed that none of us will have the courage to come out and sign the bail. I came out and I did it”, Abaribe said to the loud applause from his audience.

“Because they said it was a Senator that had to do it, I came and signed it. All the people who were sending money to him from abroad, no one could have come there to sign the bail. Now, after we had gone through all that and we sat again and we told Kanu, yes, agitation is a fundamental right of everybody, but your right ends where another person’s right begins.

“So, you cannot come, insult everybody in this world, call people all manner of names and still expect that those people are going to be fair to you. They are not going to be. They are going to look for every opportunity to get back at you. And that is exactly what happened.”

Ababribe also admits that: “now, those of us who signed the bail are now in trouble because we don’t know where he is”.

The Biafra separatist possesses a British passport. A former Abia State governor, Orji Uzor Kalu said that Kanu had escaped to London through Malaysia.

Dateline is Tuesday 17th October 2017 when the nation shall know what are the next steps in these matters. If Kanu does not appear in court then there are chances he may not be able to freely come into Nigeria again adding salt to the injury of the proscription of his secessionist group, IPOB.

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