Tochukwu Uchendu, one of the sureties who secured bail for Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), has asked the Federal High Court, Abuja, to order Kanu’s arrest.
Uchendu filed the application demanding the arrest of Kanu through his counsel, Frank Chude.
The two other sureties are Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe and Ben El Shalom, a Jewish priest.
When the matter was called on Monday, June 25, the prosecuting counsel, Shuiabu Labaran, told the court that the proceeding for the day was for the three sureties to show cause why the N300 million bail bond should not be forfeited to the federal government.
This according to Labaran was because the three sureties had failed to produce Kanu in court to defend the charge against him.
Uchendu said that the motion was brought pursuant to Section 174(A) and (B), 177, and 179 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015, and Section 36I and 6(6) of the 1999 Constitution as amended.
The counsel predicated his motion on the grounds that the court had granted Kanu bail on April 25, 2017 and that since then his whereabouts was unknown.
An affidavit deposed to by Uchendu, stated that after the invasion of Kanu’s residence by the Nigerian Army on September 14, 2017, he had not been seen in public.
“I am unable to communicate with the 1st defendant and his whereabouts is unknown to me,” the counsel deposed.
In the same vain, Abaribe and El Shalom, the other sureties, filed separate applications challenging the court’s jurisdiction to hear the order for them to show cause.
Both applications were filed and served on the prosecuting counsel, however, Kanu’s counsel, Mr Ifeanyi Ejiofor, objected to the motion to show cause from being heard on the grounds that he was not served the processes.
Meanwhile, Justice Binta Nyako has ordered the Department of State Security Service (DSS) to allow Abaribe access to his lawyers. The order was sequel to an oral application made on his behalf by his lawyer, Chukwuma Umeh, (SAN), praying the court to order the release of Abaribe.
Abaribe was arrested by the DSS on June 22 for undisclosed reasons but Umeh told the court that his client was arrested for his role in the IPOB matter. While stating that Abaribe since his arrest had been incommunicado, he held that his arrest was capable of jeopardizing the trial. He, therefore, urged the court to order the release of Abaribe from DSS custody.
The judge, however, said that since the arrest of Abaribe was not a matter before her, there was nothing the court could do about it.
Following the appeal by Abaribe’s counsel, Justice Nyako requested for the DSS official who brought Abaribe to court and ordered that he be allowed access to his lawyers.
“Allow him have access to his counsel, you cannot hold him incommunicado. No matter the reason for his arrest, as a court of justice, all I can do is ask you to allow him access to his lawyers,” she said.
Justice Nyako adjourned the matter until Nov. 14, after the court’s annual vacation to hear the applications.
It will be recalled that the senator representing Abia north, Enyinnaya Abaribe, was arraigned before the Federal High Court in Abuja.
Abaribe was arraigned on Tuesday, June 26, after he was whisked away by operatives of the Department of State Service on Friday, June 22.
He was at the court with his lawyer, some friends and associates.