Court To Begin Nnamdi Kanu’s Trial In Absentia

Court Dismisses Six Charges Against Nnamdi Kanu, Others


A Federal High Court in Abuja has slated Thursday, November 26 for the commencement of the trial of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, with five prosecution witnesses lined up to testify against him.

Copies of the hearing notice were served on the prosecution team in the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Kanu’s lawyer, Ifeanyi Ejiofor.

READ ALSO: Court Asks Rep Member To Re-Appear Over Suretyship Of Faisal Maina

Justice Binta Nyako had since March 28, 2019, revoked the bail granted the IPOB leader, ordered his arrest, and directed that his trial on charges of a treasonable felony would proceed in his absence; but the court had not had any sitting on the case since then.

The judge, acting on an application by the lead prosecuting counsel, Magaji Labaran, anchored her orders for Kanu’s arrest and trial in absentia on the defendant’s failure to appear in court since April 25, 2017, without any reasonable explanation.

Abaribe Demands N10m Compensation Over Kanu’s Case

The senator representing Abia South Senatorial District, Enyinaya Abaribe, has filed an application before a Federal High Court Abuja, requesting that the court compels the Chief of Army Staff to either produce the leader of the Indigenous People Of Biafra (IPOB), Mr Nnamdi Kanu, or pay the bail bond attached to his release.

Abaribe is also asking the court to order the COAS to offset all expenses he incurred in the cause of Nnamdi Kanu’s trial.

The lawmaker is also demanding an order for payment of damages to the tune of 10 million Naira to him for the psychological trauma which he says he went through, following the extra-judicial self-help actions of the Army Chief of Staff.

Senator Abaribe is standing as surety for Mr Kanu, whom he signed a bail bond of N100 million to secure bail for.

Read Also: Court Orders Abaribe To Produce Nnamdi Kanu

On October 17, the trial judge, Justice Binta had ordered that Abaribe and the other sureties appear before her to show cause why a bench warrant of arrest should not be granted against them and that the lawmaker can only be excused if he produced Mr Kanu or be to ready to forfeit the 100 million naira bail bond.

Abaribe predicated his application on the grounds that “out of patriotic consideration of assisting the judicial process to defuse the tension generated in the polity and with full belief that Mr Nnamdi Kanu was carrying on his activities within the limits and confines of the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria, he offered to stand as surety for Mr Kanu.

He added that all attempts and efforts by him to contact Mr Kanu by whatever means had failed completely and that nobody except the Army can give any account of him.

Court Orders Abaribe To Produce Nnamdi Kanu

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, has given the Senator representing Abia South Senatorial District, Enyinaya Abaribe, and two others who volunteered as sureties for the self-styled leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, (IPOB) Mr Nnamdi Kanu, to appear before it and explain why Mr Kanu did not appear for his trial.

Justice Binta Nyako, who gave the order said in the alternative the sureties will forfeit the one hundred million bail bond each of them agreed to pay in the absence of Mr. Kanu.

The prosecutor Mr Sulaiman Labaran had informed the court that Mr Kanu who has violated all of his bail conditions also failed to appear in court and as a result of that the court should revoke his bail and compile him to appear before the court or in the alternative ask his sureties to produce him in court.

Responding counsel to Mr Kanu, Mr Ifeanyi Ejiofor, informed the court that he is also looking for his client and just to show how serious of an issue it is.

He has filed a suit asking the court to compel the Nigerian Army to produce the self-styled leader of IPOB because his disappearance is unconnected with the invasion of his home by the Nigerian Army on September 11, 2017.

Earlier, Senator Abaribe asked the court to make an order discharging him as surety to Kanu.

The Senator prayed the court to discharge him entirely from the incidence of Kanu’s bail.

READ ALSO: Abaribe Applies To Be Discharged As Nnamdi Kanu’s Surety

He also asked to be discharge of the bond used for Kanu’s bail and a refund of N100 million or any other bond paid to the court sequel to the bail.

The grounds upon which Senator Abaribe sought the reliefs include that the Nigerian Army during a raid at the residence of the IPOB leader engaged in a fracas with members of the group which has been proscribed by the federal government.

Abaribe said since the raid by the Nigerian Army, the first defendant has not been seen or reached.

He also said Kanu is yet to make any public appearance or any statement since the raid.

Abaribe said: “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 since September 20, the report in the media is that the first respondent (Federal Government) has proscribed IPOB an organization led by Kanu and declared the organization a terrorist organization.

He said security agencies of the Federal Government are interested in the second respondent.

“The activities of the Nigerian Army as affecting the first respondent are matters of state secret incapable of being unraveled 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,” Abaribe said in his application.

Ribadu Report: Filing a minority report should have been Oronsanye’s option

The Chairman Senate Committee on Information, Media and Public Affairs, Enyinanya Abaribe,has described the acrimony witnessed during the submission of the Ribadu report to President Jonathan as very disrespectful and rude to office of the President.

According to the Senator, “trading words in front of President Jonathan is very disrespectful and rude to office of the President .”

“If there are arguments between members of a particular committee, rather than the open disagreement, the parties involved should instead file a separate report while coming in for the presentation and submit to the higher office.”

“That is what Oronsanye would have done rather than discredit the Ribadu report” stated Senator Abaribe, who was a guest on a breakfast show, Sunrise Daily.

On the plethora of investigations and reports into corruption of the nation’s oil sector, Senator Abaribe stated that the Senate report on the oil sector would be looked through plus other reports, once the Senate resumes from the Sallah break.

According to Abaribe, the Senate will look at all the report, nothing will be different from what is presently going around with the Ribadu report.