The continued absence of the Leader of Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu in Court took another twist on Wednesday as the trial judge, Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court Abuja ordered three of his sureties to deposit N100m bond in cash with the court within two months.
Justice Nyako said that the interim order, which was interpreted to mean the first step toward the forfeiture of the bail bond is likely to be reviewed on the next adjourned date March 28, 2019 when the applications filed by the sureties would be heard.
While, one of the sureties; Tochukwu Uchendu was in Court yesterday, two others; Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe and Emmanuel Shallom Ben were conspicuously absent.
Justice Nyako said that the sureties have taken the order which requires them to show cause why their N100m bonds should not be forfeited to the government, “for granted. The sureties have taken this court for a ride,” she added.
She recalled that the sureties had on April 25, 2017 when Kalu was released to Abaribe, Uchendu and Shallom – Ben on bail promised to produce him in court any day the court want him.
Earlier yesterday , after appearances was announced, prosecution lawyer, Shuaibu Labaran had informed the Court that the business of the day was for the sureties to show cause why they should not forfeit their N100m bonds.
He maintained that the order requiring the sureties to adduce reasons why they should not forfeit their N100m bonds was made on 0ctober 17, 2017 and that after two other adjournments on March 28, and August 26, 2018 hearings, the sureties are still not prepared to produce Kalu.
Frank Chude, lawyer to one of the sureties Uchendu, told the court yesterday that events after the 1st defendant was released on bail have made it impossible to produce him. He said his client has filed an application praying the court for an order directing the Nigeria Police to arrest and bring Kalu to court.
Senator Abaribe’s counsel Chukwuma- Machukwu Ume (SAN) said that they have written to the Nigerian Ambassador in Isreal to confirm if Nnamdi Kalu is in Isreal following recent video. He said that his client has also applied to the court to stay proceedings.
The judge, however, refused to accept Abaribe excuse for being absent in court. She said that senate committee oversight function should not take pre-eminence over court summons.
Shallom-Ben’s lawyer Alloy Ejimakor said his client has taken ill and admitted in a hospital in Post- Harcourt. He said that he was only informed about his client illness yesterday. That excuse was also rejected by the judge because no document was filed in respect of his illness.
Kanu, whose trial on charges of treasonable felony is pending before the court , has not been seen since September 22 , 2017 following military invasion in his father compound at Afara Ukwu .
Meanwhile, proceedings on the trial of felony charge against other accused persons: Chidiebere Onwudiwe, Benjamin Madubugwu, David Nwawusi and Bright Chemezie were forced to be adjourned till March 26 and 27 2019 due to the absence of prosecution witness. Their charges have been separated from Kalu.