Senator Eyinnaya Abaribe and Nnamdi Kanu

Is federal government about to arrest Senator Eyinnaya Abaribe for Kanu's disappearance?

As the next prosecution date in the Nnamdi Kanu trial calendar draws even closer, Nigerians are wondering if the federal government will arrest Senator Eyinnaya Abaribe who represents the Abia south senatorial district in the upper legislative chamber.

Kanu has disappeared into thin air since soldiers raided his dad’s compound in Afaraukwu, Umuahia on September 14, 2017.

According to the law books, if Kanu isn’t produced in court on the next adjourned date of October 17, 2017, all his sureties could be arrested.

According to Chief Okoi-Obono Obla who is President Buhari’s Special Assistant on Prosecution, “the implication of the failure of Kanu to appear in court on the next adjourned date on those who stood sureties for his recognizance is that his recognizance shall be forfeited.

 

“The court also may issue a warrant of arrest where a defendant (Kanu) bound by a recognizance or bond fails to appear before a court or police station. It follows that if Kanu fails to appear before the Federal High Court on the next adjourned date, the Judge will likely issue a warrant for his arrest.

“It follows that Kanu’s three sureties will be ordered to pay N100M each. Where sufficient cause is not shown by the sureties or the persons bound and the penalty is not paid, the court may recover the penalty from the person bound or from his estate if he is dead, in the manner laid down in the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015, for the recovery of fine.

“However, where the penalty is not paid and cannot be recovered in the manner laid down by the law, the person bound shall be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months”,Obono-Obla added.

What Obono-Obla is basically saying is that all three persons who signed Kanu’s bail bond now face the prospect of six months behind prison walls.

 

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The three sureties who signed Kanu’s bail bond are: Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, Jewish High Chief Priest, Immanuu-El Shalom Okabemadu and a Chartered Accountant who resides in the capital city of Abuja, Tochukwu Uchendu.

Senators aren’t immune from arrest or prosecution, according to the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria.

Is Senator Abaribe about to be picked up by law enforcement if the government is unable to find Kanu on October 17?

Addressing a group recently, Ababribe said he signed Kanu’s bail bond to spite the prosecution.

 

“It was stated that the person to sign the bond must be a senator. The reason was simple too. They assumed that none of us will have the courage to come out and sign the bail. I came out and I did it”, Abaribe said to applause from his audience.

“Because they said it was a Senator that had to do it, I came and signed it. All the people who were sending money to him from abroad, no one could have come there to sign the bail. Now, after we had gone through all that and we sat again and we told Kanu, yes, agitation is a fundamental right of everybody, but your right ends where another person’s right begins.

“So, you cannot come, insult everybody in this world, call people all manner of names and still expect that those people are going to be fair to you. They are not going to be. They are going to look for every opportunity to get back at you. And that is exactly what happened”.

 

Ababribe also admits that he faces the real prospect of arrest.

“Now, those of us who signed the bail are now in trouble because we don’t know where he is”.

The senator also had a warning for the government of the day: “You can’t do anything to me. None of you brought me to the Senate. It’s the people of Abia that brought me to the Senate”.

Former Abia State Governor, Orji Uzor Kalu, says Kanu has escaped to London through Malaysia. The Biafra separatist possesses a British passport.

The federal government, members of the Indigenous People Of Biafra (IPOB) and Kanu’s counsel, have all been trading blames over the whereabouts of the secessionist agitator.

Abaribe, 62, is a member of opposition party, PDP.