15 November 2018

Nigeria: Biafra - Court Orders Forfeiture of N300m Bonds Over Kanu's Absence

A Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered the interim forfeiture of the N300m bail bond by sureties to Nnamdi Kanu following their failure to produce him in court yesterday.

Justice Binta Nyako ordered that the money be deposited in the court's bank account and not the Federal Government's Treasury Single Account (TSA) before the next adjourned date of March 28, 2019.

The judge ruled that the sureties: Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe; a Jewish priest, Immanuel Shalom, and an Abuja-based accountant, Tochukwu Uchendu, would be given six months to argue their applications challenging the forfeiture.

However, the three persons charged alongside the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB): Bright Chimezie, Chidiebere Onwudiwe, Benjamin Madubugwu, and Chidiebere Onwudiwe were present to face trial on the three count-charge bordering on conspiracy to commit treasonable felony and setting up illegal broadcast stations.

The judge had initially threatened to issue a bench warrant for the arrest of Senator Abaribe but rescinded the decision following plea by his lawyer, Chukwu Machukwu-Ume (SAN), who said the lawmaker is on a national assignment for an oversight function with the Senate Committee on Niger Delta.

He also informed the court that Abaribe has written the Nigerian Ambassador in Israeli to confirm if the IPOB leader sighted in Jerusalem is the same facing trial in the court.

But the judge said: "I am not interested whether my Nnamdi Kanu is in Saudi Arabia or even in nearby Ghana, what matters is for these sureties, who made an undertaking that he will not leave the shores of this country to produce him."

Meanwhile, the trial of Kanu's co-accused persons was stalled after prosecution counsel, Suleiman Labaran, admitted that the witnesses were not in court.

Justice Nyako adjourned the trial to March 26 and 27, 2019.


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