Kanu’s co-defendants seek separate trial as Fani-Kayode asks Army to produce Kanu

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…Adjourns case till Nov 20 …As FG applies for warrant of arrest …Abaribe requests for time to produce Kanu ..Court orders Abaribe, Jewish priest to produce Kanu or face jail …If Kanu is with you, please release him By Ikechukwu Nnochiri ABUJA— The Federal High Court in Abuja, yesterday, ordered Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, a Jewish High Priest, Emmanu El-Shalom Oka BenMadu, and an accountant, Tochukwu Uchendu, to appear before it on November 20 to explain the whereabouts of the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu. The court maintained the trio, who stood surety for the IPOB leader, must produce him for continuation of his trial or face jail term/forfeiture of their bail bond. The order, which was made by trial Justice Binta Nyako, followed Kanu’s absence in court to take his plea to an amended five-count treasonable felony charge the Federal Government preferred against him and four other pro-Biafra agitators, Chidiebere Onwudiwe, Benjamin Madubugwu, David Nwawuisi and Bright Chimezie. Justice Nyako had in a ruling on April 25, released Kanu on bail after he had spent a year and seven months in detention, though the court okayed his co-defendants to remain in prison custody. To secure Kanu’s release, Abaribe who is representing Abia South Senatorial District, El-Shalom and Uchendu on April 28, signed an undertaking to always ensure the presence of the defendant in court for his trial. FG applies for warrant of arrest However, at the resumed sitting on the matter, yesterday, Federal Government lawyer, Mr. Shuaibu Labaran, drew attention of the court to Kanu’s absence, even as he applied for a bench warrant to be issued against him. Federal Government equally urged the court to summon Abaribe and the other sureties to show cause why they should not be committed to prison with their N100m bail bond forfeited. In opposition to the application, Kanu’s lawyer, Mr. Ifeanyi Ejiofor, told the court that his client had been missing since September 14 when, he said, soldiers invaded the IPOB leader’s family compound at Afara-Ukwu village in Umuahia, Abia State. “I cannot tell my lord whether he is dead or alive because 28 people were killed at his house,” Ejiofor added. He told the judge that he has a pending suit that is asking the Nigerian Army to produce Kanu before the court either dead or alive, saying: “As it stands today, I don’t know where my client is. They are in a better position to tell us where he is.” At that juncture, Justice Nyako asked if any of the three sureties were present in court. In response, Abaribe’s lawyer, Ogechi Ogbonna, announced his appearance and informed the court that his client had not seen or heard from Kanu since  September 11. Ogbonna told the court that his client was no longer willing to continue as Kanu’s surety and had filed a motion to be discharged. Neverthless, Justice Nyako said she would not entertain Abaribe’s application until he produced Kanu before the court. “No! He remains a surety until he produces the defendant. It is only when the 1st defendant is here that he can withdraw and the bail of the defendant revoked,” the judge insisted. 3 options available to Abaribe The trial judge said there were three options available to Abaribe in the matter. She said: “I will give you three different scenarios available here for your client. He should produce the defendant and apply to withdraw. Or he could say I don’t know where the defendant is and I cannot produce him, take my bail bond. “The third scenario is he can say give me time to produce him. These are the only options for your client.” Abaribe opts for time to produce Nnamdi Kanu But reacting, Senator Abaribe, through his lawyer, pleaded with the court to give him more time to produce the IPOB leader. Abaribe, who told Justice Binta Nyako, that he had no information about Kanu’s whereabouts, was forced to request for time to produce the defendant in court. In her ruling, Justice Nyako ordered the three sureties to appear before the court to show cause why bench warrant should not be issued against them. “The second surety, Abaribe, will only be recused when the defendant is produced or if he chooses to forfeit the bail bond,” Justice Nyako held. Sequel to an application by Mr. Maxwell Okpara, counsel to the 4th defendant, Nwawuisi, Justice Nyako ordered prison authorities to grant the defendant access to his private medical doctor. The case was subsequently adjourned till  November 20

Read more at: httpsss://www.vanguardngr.com/2017/10/court-orders-abaribe-jewish-priest-produce-kanu-face-jail/

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