The Curious Case Of Senator Abaribe And Nnamdi Kanu
The federal government of Nigeria is asking those who posted bail bond monies for the release of Nnamdi Kanu the questions the presidency needs to answer as urgently as possible, “Where is Nnamdi Kanu?”. The Indigenous Leader of Biafra (IPOB) who has been missing since the Buhari’s Army invaded his home in early October is still missing.
Kanu was on bail and waiting for his day in court when the Federal government invaded his house with its Army and killed over 20 people. Derived from the evidence and video’s circulating online so far, everything living thing in his compound was killed including the families beloved dog.
Critics alleged that there is an attempt to ensure that the IPOB leader never appears before the Federal High Court, Abuja and also that his guarantors: Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, Immanuel Madu, and Tochukwu Uchendu, are being forced to withdraw the bonds for Kanu’s bail.
Questions arise as to what the Nigerian government is hiding; was Kanu kidnapped with his elderly parents or was he killed? The international communities garner much interest in IPOB case as it borders around disregarding the fundamental human rights of Nigerian citizens. One of the questions lingering among Nigerians is whether the president, being a former dictator, understands the full tenets of democracy. The president has no such rights to order the deaths of those who gave him the mandate to be president.
Abaribe and two backers assured Kanu’s bail in April 2017 after he spent several months in detention. The Buhari administration kept him in confinement even after the court granted him bail.
The sureties later faced a challenge as Federal High Court Abuja ask them to produce the IPOB leader before November 20 or forfeit $100M bail bond each.
Kanu failed to appear in Federal High Court Abuja for the continuation of his trial before Justice Binta Nyako-led court. Kanu’s disciples; Chidiebere Onwudiwe; an IPOB member, Benjamin Madubugwu, and David Nwawuisi were in attendance.
Kanu’s counsel, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, insisted the Federal Government was responsible for the whereabouts of his client who could not attend his trial as planned.
Justice Binta Murtala Nyako pronounced Kanu a fugitive, following conspicuous absenteeism in court when the trial resumed.
“The trial of Kanu and his co-defendants was scheduled for October 17, but reports from both the prosecutor and the defendant’s counsel show that Kanu was absent. Those who helped raise his bail conditions are solely accountable for his presence for trial. These sureties are, therefore, given time to produce him for trial. In the event that they are unable to produce him, the court shall go on to invoke the remaining options left to it,” Justice Nyako said.
Senator Abaribe, a coward?
Following the development of Kanu’s absence, one of the sureties; Senator Enyinaya Abaribe a representative of Abia south, instead of asking the government to produce a member of his constituency, asked the federal high court to discharge him as a surety of Kanu.
The court offered three options: produce Kanu in court and apply to be discharged as a surety, forfeit his $100m bail bond monies or request for more time to provide the IPOB leader.
Abaribe had asked for a discharge of the bond used for Kanu’s bail and a refund of N100 million paid to the court sequel to the surety, seeking relief because Kanu has been missing since the Nigerian army raided his Abia residence.
“Since the foretasted visit of the Nigerian army to the residence of the first defendant from September 11, 2017, the second respondent in this suit has not been seen again nor reached on phone the applicant neither is he reported in any news media as seen by any person nor made any statement on any issue,” the senator said in his application.
“The activities of the Nigerian army as affecting the first respondent are matters of state secret incapable of being unraveled by the applicant which events have put the second respondent out of the reach of the applicant such that the applicant cannot reasonably be expected to produce the second respondent before this court at any subsequent date.
Court documents state that Abaribe “lacks the capacity to produce a person stated by the first respondent to be a member of a terrorist organization or any person who the first respondent is reported to be interested in his whereabouts in the aftermath of the military operation in Abia state.”
Speaking to Caracal Reports on the situation, Senior Advocate Oyinkansola Ajayi said that Senator Abaribe is a coward in the highest order, adding that the senator should not be granted opportunity to withdraw from being the surety to the defendant.
“He can’t discharge himself from the bail condition. It’s only the court that can determine that. And the essence of bail is to ensure that the accused is produced, and if not produced the person providing the bail should account. You can’t just walk away from the bail without application. If he wants to help himself, he ought to have made an application to the court and convince the court that federal government and military should provide Kanu.”
A former national chairman of Alliance for Democracy, Chief Adamu Song said “For him to have changed his mind is not out of place, but the surety he bailed is not on ground now. Whether his withdrawal is legitimate or not, that is left for the court to decide. But for me, there is nothing wrong with that.”
Meanwhile, the counsel to Kanu, Ejiofor said he had filed a suit against the Chief of Army Staff on the whereabouts of Kanu. Mr. Ejiofor had claimed that the military’s invasion of his client’s home on July 11 led to his disappearance, adding that the army was in the best position to disclose the whereabouts of Kanu.
Information gathered by Caracal Reports indicate the federal government was ready to try the IPOB leader even if he fails to appear in court.
Someone familiar with the case, who requested anonymity said there are plans to try the IPOB leader despite his whereabouts not known to anyone. The source maintained that Kanu would be tried like former Niger Delta leader, Mr.Government Ekpemupolo Tompolo.
“There are plans to ensure that he will be tried in absentia. It will not be the first time. Take the case of a former Niger Delta militant, Mr. Government Ekpemupolo for instance.
“A defendant so tried, could still be convicted and made to face whatever penalty that was imposed by the court.”
Further findings reveal the reason behind the decision of South East governors not to back Nnamdi Kanu, is unearthing – the governors were secretly and forcibly made to sign an undertaking against the activities of the IPOB.
Owing to this, they were also scared of the possibility of their state been declared as a state of emergency if they allow any IPOB activities.
Kanu’s family petitions the United Nations
In a ragging allegation, the family leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra petitioned the United Nations, the European Union, and other foreign countries, alleging that operatives of the Nigerian army looted valuables from their son’s home during a raid on October 8.
In a petition signed by Ifeanyi Ejiofor, Nnamdi Kanu’s lawyer on behalf of the family, and sent to the international bodies and foreign countries, the family claimed that the “CCTV footage” attached to the said letters “picked” the alleged looting by Nigerian soldiers and policemen.
The letter read in part: “We are solicitors to the family of His Royal Majesty, Eze Isreal Okwu-Kanu, hereinafter referred to as ‘our client’ and on whose standing instruction we file this communication with the British government. ” It is our brief, that on the 8th day of October 2017, our client’s son’s home (Nnamdi Kanu) in Afaraukwu Ibeku, Umuahia, in Abia State was invaded, and violently looted by rampaging Nigerian soldiers and their police counterparts. “The CCTV footage which picked the horrendous raids revealed the brazen looting and carting away of valuables and household equipment by the above-named security agents.”
IPOB on Anambra election
In a possible continuing struggle, the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, asked its members in Anambra State to boycott the coming governorship election in the state.
In a statement by the IPOB spokesperson, Emma Powerful, the group alleged the Nigerian Government planned to cause a commotion in the state during the election and accuse and blame it on them.
“This evil plan concocted by the APC government in concert with Nigerian military and supported by unscrupulous South East governors is solely intended to cement their dubious efforts to label the great IPOB a terrorist group. ” They hastily came up with this plan to incriminate IPOB in a violent incident in the hope of turning world public opinion against a peaceful organization agitating for self-determination through the instrumentality of a referendum.
“IPOB intelligence unit successfully infiltrated the meeting where this bloodbath was being planned. We uncovered the secret venue in Lagos where APC Party stalwarts from the South East and South geopolitical zones met last week to finalize these murderous attacks.
“The meeting was attended by former Governor of River State Chief Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, Minister of Science and Technology Chief Ogbonnaya Onu, Labour Minister Dr. Chris Ngige, Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha, former Abia State governor Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu and Chief Raphael Lebeanya Uwazuruike the leader of Biafra Independence Movement (BIM).
“At this meeting, they resolved to provide arms and ammunition to a group of men that will be assembled by Ralph Uwazuruike and his BIM group since they need to give the attackers some form of Biafra coloration.
“They are to unleash a coordinated and violent attack against innocent civilians in Anambra State and border towns while dressed in Biafra and IPOB colors.”