Federal High Court Asks Senator Abaribe, 2 Others To Produce IPOB Leader Kanu Or Go To Jail
The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Wednesday adjourned till June 26 to enable Enyinaya Abaribe, a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) senator from Abia state and two others to produce leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) Nnamdi Kanu in court or risk going to prison.
Kanu, who is currently facing trial for alleged treason, was required to be produced in court by his sureties.
His sureties were Senator Eyinnaya Abaribe, a Jewish priest, Immanuu-El Shalom, and an accountant resident in Abuja, Tochukwu Uchendu.
The trial judge, Justice Binta Nyako, fixed the date after the court had ordered the prosecution to serve the sureties with an earlier order of court.
The order demanded the sureties to appear in court and explain the whereabouts of Kanu or show cause why they should not forfeit their N100 million bail bond.
At the resumed hearing, counsel to the sureties observed that the court order had not been served to his clients to enable them to prepare their defence.
Chukwuma Umeh, counsel to Abaribe, whose submissions were adopted by the others urged the court to direct that an enrol order be issued and served on his client by the prosecution.
He said this was in the spirit of fair hearing as enshrined in section 36 of the 1999 constitution.
“I apply that the proper thing be done, that is for a summon to be issued and served on the sureties for them to show cause why their bail bond should not be forfeited,” he said.
“The prosecution ought to have taken further steps to obtain an enroll order and serve on them. This is because a court order that is not served cannot be used against the sureties as it is not binding on them until it is served.”
In his response, the prosecuting counsel, Shuaibu Labaran, prayed the court to discountenance the submissions and proceed with the business of the day.
He described the fresh application as a “conspiracy” to set back the matter before the court and demanded its dismissal.
But the presiding judge granted the request by the defense, noting that the application was an evidence of their lack of readiness to proceed with the matter.
“What is clear is that you are not ready,” said Mrs. Nyako.
“The sureties are to be served with the order of this court: to show why they should not forfeit their bond or to produce the defendant in the next adjourned date, with the alternative to go to prison,” she added.