ABUJA – An Abuja Division of the Federal High Court has on Tuesday, directed the Attorney General of the Federation, AGF, to serve court processes to the three sureties to leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu, for them to show cause or file response against the forfeiture of their bail bonds. The presiding Justice Binta Nyako made the ruling following an objection moved by Aloy Ejimakor, lawyer to the second surety, Immanu-El Shalom Oka-Ben Madu, challenging the jurisdiction of the court to order the sureties to show cause and also to give them time to respond to the processes.
According to Ejimakor, “The application on behalf of the second surety was filed and served yesterday. We filed and succeeded in serving the AGF yesterday and all party opponent. That application is challenging the jurisdiction of this Honourable court with the order to show cause on some of the grounds enunciated by the learned colleague.”
Counsel to Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, Chukwuma Maduchukwu Umeh, SAN, in his reaction, also aligned himself to the preliminary objection of the second surety. Ruling in favour of the sureties, the judge, however, expressed dissatisfaction on the perceived lull while accusing the defence lawyers to the sureties of deliberate attempt to delay the progress of the case. “Yes, it is your right but I want to say that the antics of the counsels in this matter will not be tolerated. This matter was adjourned as far back as March; you waited until yesterday to file processes so that you can truncate the proceedings in this matter.
“But unfortunately for you, some people who also think that they are as smart as you are have arrested one of your clients (Abaribe). If you want to continue to delay the time in this matter, I will help you to delay it. However, I’ll give you your right to reply but am going to give you a date after vacation,” the judge stated. Meanwhile, Abaribe’s lawyer, Mr Umeh, in a motion, brought to the attention of the court the arrest and persecution of his client by the State Security Service, SSS, asking the court to declare that he be set free.
“Your Lordship, I need to bring to the attention of the court (that) the first surety is here but he’s here in chains because of his role in this case. He only came here by the grace of the office of the Director-General of the SSS who arrested, detained and kept him incommunicado until this morning he was expected to come for this proceeding after which he will go back.
“We need to bring to the attention of the court that the surety who did what the court ask him to do is arrested and detained. “Your Lordship, I think it has to do with the issue of IPOB; the issue of standing as the surety of the accused person,” he stated. However, in a swift reaction, the judge explained that Abaribe’s alleged arrest has nothing to do with her, adding that she has not ordered anybody to arrest the Senator.
According to the judge, “This has nothing to do with me. His being arrested has nothing to do with this case. “How did you know (that his arrest is connected to this case)? I did not make any order for his arrest. SSS is not an extension of the court. So, it had nothing to do with me. Whether or not he had been arrested, with or without justification, you know what to do. So don’t bring the drama into this case.”
Subsequently, the case was adjourned till November 14, 2018, for continued hearing.