Senator Enyinaya Abaribe, representing Abia South at the National Assembly, has pleaded with a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital to discharge him as a surety of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and Director of London based radio Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu.
Abaribe, who was one of the three persons who stood as sureties for the IPOB leader when he was released in April, had told Justice Binta Nyako that he had no information about Kanu’s whereabouts.
The attorney of the Abia South lawmaker, Mr. Ogechi Ogunna, who appeared before the presiding judge on Tuesday, October 17, initially informed Justice Nyako that the senator had filed a motion seeking to be discharged as a surety for the defendant.
Reacting to Ogunna’s statement, Justice Nyako said the lawmaker had three options which are: (1) produce the defendant in court and then apply to be discharged as a surety, (2) be ready to forfeit his N100m bail bond or (3) ask to be given time to produce the defendant.
Senator Abaribe’s attorney replied saying “he (Abaribe) is not in a position to do any of these.” But the judge insisted that the lawmaker must opt for one of the three options.
Abaribe then 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 bail.
The lawmaker sought his relief on the ground that the IPOB leader has been missing since soldiers of the Nigerian army raided his Abia residence.
“Since the aforestated 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 unravelled by the applicant which activities 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.
“The applicant 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.”
Meanwhile, Nnamdi Kanu and his co-defendants, Benjamin Madubugwu, David Nwawuisi and Chidiebere Onwudiwe, are facing criminal charges bordering on a treasonable felony, conspiracy, among others.