NNAMDI KANU’S BAIL REVOKED: TRIAL TO CONTINUE IN HIS ABSENCE
The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has on Thursday revoked the bail granted to Mazi Nnamdi Kanu leader of the proscribed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOD), Nnamdi Kanu and consequently issued a bench warrant for his arrest.
The order was sequel to Kanu’s continuous absence in court, counting from late 2017, after the Nigerian Army Python Dance invasion in his hometown Afaraukwu, Abia State.
The court recalled that Kanu was granted bail on 25th April, 2017 on health ground, but have not appeared in court since then till date. Justice Nyako revoked KANU’S jail bail, and also held that the court will continue the trial of Kanu’s case even in his absence. Though he has been spotted in one of the Middle East countries, on no knowledge of how he left the Nigeria.
This action prompted the court to issue an order directing his sureties to show cause why they should not forfeit the N100m bail bond each of them made for the release of Kanu to the Federal government.
Subsequently, the matter was adjourned till June 18, for continuation of trial in Kanu’s absence.
At the resumed trial yesterday, prosecution lawyer Shuaibu Labaran prayed the court for a bench warrant of arrest against the IPOB leader for failing to appear in court to face his trial.
However, Kanu’s lawyer, Ifeanyi Ejiofor requested for a short adjournment to enable him give reasons why the defendant was not in court.
His request was overruled by the Court on the ground that the defence team had enough time to adduce reasons for Kanu’s absence in between the four adjournments granted them by the court from November 2018 till Thursday, March 28,2019.
Meanwhile, the court had adjourned the case involving Kanu’s sureties: Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, a Jewish Priest, Emmanuel Shalom Ben Madu and an accountant Tochukwu Uchendu indefinitely following an appeal lodged by Senator Abaribe’s lawyer, Chukwuma Machukwu Ume (SAN) challenging the order directing the sureties to deposit their bond with the Court.
Senator Abaribe, a Jewish Priest, Ben El Shallom and an Accountant, Tochukwu Uchendu, had all stood sureties for Nnamdi Kanu in the sum of N100m each.
However, following the disappearance of Kanu and his subsequent failure to attend his trial, the Federal government, through the prosecution counsel, Shuaibu Labaran applied and secured a court order directing Kanu’s sureties to produced him in court or show cause why they will not be sent to prison or forfeit the bond of N100m each.
Kanu and four others were arraigned before a Federal High Court in Abuja on a six count criminal charge bordering on treasonable felony in June 2016.
Though they pleaded not guilty to the charge, however bail was denied them by the different Judges who had earlier tried the matter, including Justice Nyako. However, Justice Nyako following the deteriorating health of the 1st defendant admitted him to bail to enable him access quality medical care.