Three sureties that stood for the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, leader, Nnamdi Kanu for his bail condition are facing an uphill task of producing the fugitive, or risk the wrath of losing N100 million deposited as a condition for his release.
The sureties are Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, Immanuel Madu and Torchokwu Uchendu
The Federal High Court, presided over by Justice Binta Murtala Nyako also pronounced Kanu as a fugitive, following conspicuous absent in court when his trial resumed on Tuesday in Abuja.
Justice Nyako, who earlier gave the secessionist campaigner bail has fixed November 20 for his sureties to produce him.
Mrs Nyako gave the order at the resumed hearinng when Ifeanyi Ejiofor, counsel to Kanu, told the court he could not explain the whereabouts of his client.
Mr Kanu, whose bail was perfected by the voluntary endorsement of the three sureties failed to appear in court to stand his trial.
But Mrs Nyako said the sureties’ failure to produce Kanu would compel the court to invoke the forfeiture of their N100 million bail bond each.
“The trial of Kanu and his co-defendants was fixed for October17, but reports from both the prosecuting and defendant’s counsel show that Kanu is absent.
“The sureties that helped to perfect his bail conditions are solely accountable for his presence for trial. These sureties are therefore, given time to produce him for trial.
“In the event that they are unable to produce him, the court shall go on to invoke the remaining options left to it,’’ she said.
Earlier, the prosecuting counsel, Mohammed Labaran, had moved an application praying the court to grant a bench warrant for Kanu’s arrest.
He said the defendant had flouted all the bail conditions spelt out for him by the court.
The counsel to Kanu, Ejiofor objected to such application, adding that he had filed a suit against the Chief of Army Staff on the whereabouts of Kanu.
Mr Ejiofor had claimed that the military’s invasion of his client’s home on July 11 led to his disappearance, adding that the military was in the best position to disclose the whereabouts of Kanu.
Similarly, counsel to Abaribe, Ogechi Ogbonna, moved a motion seeking court’s approval for the withdrawal of his client’s consent as Kanu’s surety.
Mr Ogbonna said his client was not in a position to tell the whereabouts of the defendant at the moment.
He further said Abaribe was no longer interested in offering his consent to serve as Kanu’s surety in view of recent happenings.
The judge, therefore, gave Ogbonna options ranging from automatic forfeiture of his client’s N100 million bail bond, to having time within which to search for Kanu.
Mr Ogbonna, having received the hint of the court, selected the latter option.
Chidiebere Onwudiwe, Benjamin Madubugwu and David Nwawuisi are standing trial along with Kanu on a five-count charge of conspiracy to commit treasonable felony and publication of defamatory materials.