In a counter-affidavit filed before the Federal High Court in Abuja, the Federal Government opposed Senator Abaribe’s request to withdraw as one of Nnamdi Kanu’s sureties, describing the application as belated.
The counter-affidavit alleged that Abaribe was aware that Kanu “has long violated the bail conditions handed down by this honourable court” on April 24, 2017 before September 11 when he claimed to have lost contact with the defendant. It read in part:
“That it was at this point at violating the conditions at the bail that the senator surety ought to surrender the 1st defendant and or bring up this application;
“That this application is belated and ill-timed; the applicant failed to apply to the court timeously, stating on oath that the defendant bound by recognizance to appear before this court had violated the bail condition given by this court.”
The Federal Government through its prosecuting counsel, Shuaibu Labaran, argued that Abaribe “failed woefully” by allegedly aiding and abetting Kanu to flout his bail conditions, while also denying that Kanu was in the custody of the Nigerian Army. Hear him:
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“My lord, the surety has failed woefully to abide by the terms of the contract he entered into with this court and therefore cannot claim frustration.
“My lord, we urge that the court hold, that surety having refused to do what he ought to have done pursuant to section 174 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 aided and abetted the 1st defendant in the flouting of the bail conditions of this court and should forfeit the bond he entered into.”
“That the military activities in Abia State tagged ‘Operation Python Dance II’ was a routine exercise in its second year carried out by the military at the end of every year.
“That the 1st defendant is not in the custody of the Nigerian military or any other security agency in that regard.
“That the 1st defendant is in custody of the applicant (Abaribe).”
In the meantime, the outlawed group, IPOB insists that the Federal Government knows Nnamdi Kanu’s whereabouts.
A statement issued on Sunday, Oct. 22, in Awka, Anambra State, by IPOB’s Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, accused President Buhari and some leaders in the South-East geopolitical zone of a conspiracy of silence on the issue, warning the Nigerian Government not to provoke the group into an armed conflict. The statement read:
“We are asking Maj.-Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, Nnia Nwodo and South-East governors to produce Nnamdi Kanu because they or their representatives all participated in countless meetings in Abuja and Enugu where the modus operandi of the genocidal Operation Python Dance II was agreed and ratified.
“It was as a direct result of the military invasion of the home of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and massacre of 28 innocent unarmed civilians with many missing that has led us to once again politely ask that our leader be presented to us dead or alive.
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“It is becoming clear to everybody that Muhammadu Buhari, Nnia Nwodo and South East governors are desperately trying to draw IPOB into armed confrontation and militancy to justify their genocidal clampdown on innocent people of the South-East and South-South.”