The Federal Government has accused Enyinnaya abararabe, Senator representing Abia South in Nigeria’s Senate, of keeping the leader of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, in his custody to shield him from appearing in court to answer to charges against him.
Abaribe was among the South-East leaders, who stood surety for Kanu before he was released on bail on April 24, 2017.
The government’s allegation was contained in a reply to Abaribe’s application to the Federal High Court, Abuja, seeking to discontinue from being the secessionist leader’s surety before the court.
Describing the application as belated, the FG, in its counter-affidavit and written address, insisted that the senator has to produce Kanu to enable him continue with his trial before the court.
It alleged that Abaribe was aware of Kanu’s consistent violation of bail conditions long before September 11 when he claimed to have lost contact with him.
“That it was at this point at violating the conditions at the bail that the senator surety ought to surrender the 1st defendant and or bring up this application; “That this application is belated and ill-timed;
“The applicant failed to apply to the court timeously, stating on oath that the defendant bound by recognizance to appear before this court had violated the bail condition given by this court,” the Federal Government submitted in its counter-affidavit.
Also, in the written address to back up the application, the prosecuting counsel, Mr. Shuaibu Labaran, urged the court to sanction Abararabe for aiding and abating Kanu to flout the bail conditions and make him forfeit the bond he entered into.
“My lord, the surety has failed woefully to abide by the terms of the contract he entered into with this court and therefore cannot claim frustration
“We urge that the court hold, that surety having refused to do what he ought to have done pursuant to section 174 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 aided and abetted the 1st defendant in the flouting of the bail conditions of this court and should forfeit the bond he entered into.”
The Federal Government also denied the suspicion that Kanu was in the Nigerian Military’s custody, saying the military activities in Abia State tagged ‘Operation Python Dance II’ was a routine exercise in its second year carried out by the military at the end of every year.”
Kanu did not appear in court for the resumed sitting on October 17, but his co-defendants were present.
While reacting to Abaribe’s application to withdraw himself from among Kanu’s sureties in the case, the presiding judge said she would not hear the application until the missing defendant is produced.
She gave Abaribe and the two other sureties up till November 20 to produce the defendant in court.