SENATOR Eyinnaya Abaribe has filed an application before a Federal High Court Abuja, praying for an order compelling the Chief of Army Staff to offset all expenses he incurred in the cause of trial of the leader of Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu.
Also, Abaribe is demanding an order for payment of damages of N10 million to him 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 N100 million to secure bail for Kanu, who is being prosecuted by the Federal Government.
On October 17, Justice Binta, the trial judge, had ordered that Abaribe and the other sureties to appear on November 20 to show cause why a bench warrant of arrest should not be granted against them.
More so, the court held that Abaribe could only be recluse if he produces Kanu or forfeits the N100 million bail bond.
However, at a resumed sitting on Monday, Abaribe was in court but Justice Nyako did not sit.
The court registrar said she was attending the Judges Conference, and had to adjourn the trial to December 5.
But in the motion on notice filed by Abaribe, he is also praying for “An order of the court compelling the Chief of Army Staff, on failure to produce 1st defendant/2nd respondent, to pay to the court the sum in the bail bond earlier executed by the applicant on behalf of 1st defendant/2nd respondent.
“An order of the court compelling the Chief of Army Staff to produce 1st defendant/2nd respondent before the court and or to explain to the satisfaction of the court the circumstance surrounding his whereabouts.
“An order of court compelling the Chief of Army Staff to show cause why the Attorney General of the Federation should not be compelled to initiate contempt proceedings against him for his extra-judicial self-help conducts that have obviously frustrated the proceedings and course of administration of justice and which actions have brought the court to some ridicule and its power appears nugatory as well as placing the applicant in a fixed up position.”
Abaribe predicated his application on the grounds that “Out of patriotic consideration of assisting the judicial process to defuse the overheating already generated in the polity and with full belief that 1st defendant was carrying on his activities within the limits and confines of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, applicant offered to stand surety for him and entered into recognizance and executed the bail bond on his behalf.
Abaribe is alleging that it was only the Nigeria Army who had last contact with Kanu that can either produce him or explain the circumstances surrounding his whereabouts.
To his surprise, Abaribe said the Nigeria Army subsequently declared IPOB a terrorist organisation and all its members wanted.
He added that all attempts and efforts thereafter made by him to contact Kanu by whatever means failed completely as there was no response and nobody except the Army could give any account of him.
“The situation was such that applicant could no longer under the circumstances perform his obligation under the surety.
“As at the time of Chief of Army Staff ordered the deployment of his men and material to forcefully and violently invade and surrounded the town and residence of the 1st defendant/2nd respondent aforesaid, he had every knowledge of the pendency of this charge and that his conduct had the most probable effect of preventing the 1st defendant from attending court, to continue with his trial.”
– Nov 20, 2017 @ 18:12 GMT |