6 December 2017

Nigeria: Abaribe Seeks Court's Inspection of Invaded Kanu's Residence

Abuja — Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe has filed an application inviting Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court to inspect the residence of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, in Abia State following military invasion between September 11 and 14.

In the motion filed by his counsel, Chukwuma-Machukwu Ume (SAN), Abaribe alleged that Kanu was eventually arrested and whisked away by the army. He is claiming that Kanu was at his residence before and all through September 11 to 14.

An affidavit in support of the motion deposed to by Deborah Warrie stated that out of patriotic consideration to assist the judicial process to defuse the high tension generated in the polity, and with full convictions that Kanu was carrying on with his activities within the limits and confines of the constitution, Abaribe (applicant) offered to stand surety for the IPOB leader and executed the bail bond.

The affidavit averred that since the release of Kanu from prison custody, he was known to be in his residence at Isiama Afaraukwu Ibeku, Umuahia, Abia State.

"Sometimes in 2017 or thereabouts, the Nigerian Army High Command on the instructions of the Chief of Army Staff, announced publicly that they were going to commence Operation Python Dance in the whole of South East from September 15 to October 14.

"Although the invasion took place three months ago, there are still many physical reminders of the invasion and a site visit is the best and most expedient way to convey to this court the necessary information regarding the environs, spatial configurations and physical character of the locations of the invaded property, the information of which cannot be adequately conveyed through the presentation of oral testimony or topographical maps alone," the affidavit read.

The deponent stated that the forceful military invasion of Kanu's residence has frustrated the bail bond.

The application was not moved because Justice Nyako did not sit, and the matter was adjourned till February 20, 2018.

Aside the motion, Abaribe had filed an earlier application praying for an order compelling the Chief of Army Staff to offset all expenses he incurred in the cause of trial of Kanu. He is also demanding payment of N10million damages to him for the psychological trauma he suffered following the alleged extra-judicial self-help actions of the army.


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