Justice Binta Nyako of a Federal High Court, Abuja, Wednesday ordered Senator Eyinnnya Abaribe and two others who stood sureties for the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, to temporarily forfeit their N100m bail bond each.
Justice Nyako also ordered that the N100m bail bond should be converted into cash and deposited with the registrar of the court.
The court ordered that the money should be paid within two months of the order and would be permanently forfeited if after six month they are unable to produce Kanu to face his trial.
The order of the court followed the absence of Senator Abaribe and Tochukwu Uchendu, who are the first and third surety to Kanu.
When the case came up on Wednesday, counsel to the first surety, Chukwuema Umeh, informed the court that Abaribe had gone on oversight function.
Also, counsel to the third surety, I. E. Chuddy said his client was ill and could not make it to the court.
This infuriated the judge who noted that the sureties were taking the court for granted.
She threatened to issue bench warrant against the sureties because “they are taking the court for a ride”
Earlier in his submission, counsel to Abaribe, Umeh told the court that his client was absent because of his engagement in the Senate.
Specifically, he told the trial judge that the Senator has embarked on an oversight function of the Senate, explaining his absence from court was due to the exigency of the function.
While the second surety, Emmanuel Shallon was present, counsel to the third surety, Chuddy informed the court that his client was unable to attend proceeding because of his illness.
Justice Nyako however noted that Abaribe’s absence would not have the affected the business of the committee, and added that the sureties who applications to opt out of the sureteeship, failed until Kanu is produced.
Counsel to the second surety, Alloy Ejiemekor, prayed the court for opportunity to give evidential evidence why the sureties were unable to produce the defendant in court in the spirit of fair hearing.
According to him, the order of the court for the sureties to show cause is for them to be heard.
The matter was adjourned to March 28
…More details later