The trial of leader of the proscribed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), Nnmadi Kanu took a dramatic twist as Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, one of the three persons standing as sureties for his bail has asked the court to compel the Nigerian Army to pay him N10 m as damages.
Besides, in his application before the Abuja division of the Federal High Court, the lawmaker is praying for an order compelling the Chief of Army Staff to offset all expenses he incurred in the course of Kanu’s trial.
Abaribe is Senator representing Abia South Senatorial zone.
The N10m monetary compensation, according to the Senator, is for the psychological trauma he has gone through following the extra-judicial self-help actions of the Army Chief of Staff.
Abaribe is standing as surety for Kanu, having signed a bail bond of N100m to secure bail for Kanu.
Justice Binta Nyako, had on October 17, ordered Abaribe, and two others standing as sureties to appear in court to explain the IPOB leader’s whereabouts.
Kanu, who was enjoying the bail granted him by the judge on April 24, was absent from court at the previous proceedings when trial was billed to commence.
His three co-defendants – the National Coordinator of IPOB, Mr. Chidiebere Onwudiwe; an IPOB member, Benjamin Madubugwu; and a former Field Maintenance Engineer seconded to the MTN, David Nwawuisi – were produced in court by prison officials.
But Bright Chimezie, who became a co-defendant in the case following an amendment of the charges was also absent.
The new co-defendant was said to be in the custody of the Department of State Service.
Kanu’s lawyer, Mr. Ifeanyi Ejiofor, told the judge on October 17 that Kanu had been missing after soldiers invaded the IPOB leader’s home on September 14, adding that the Nigerian Army was in the best position to produce the defendant.
A lawyer, Mr. Ogechi Ogunna, appeared for Abaribe informing the judge that his client had filed a motion seeking to be discharged as Kanu’s surety.
The two other sureties, Immanuel Shalum Okabenmabu and Tochukwu Uchendu, were absent from court and not represented by any lawyer on Tuesday.
After lawyers representing parties to the case announced their appearances on October 17, the prosecuting counsel, Mr. Shuabu Labaran, who was led by Mr. Saleh Barkum, noted that Kanu was absent from court.
He urged the court to order the arrest of the IPOB leader for being absent from court on Tuesday.
But Kanu’s lawyer, Ejiofor, told the judge that Kanu was ready to face trial until the military invasion after which he had become missing.
SOURCE : SUN