Senator Eyninnaya Abaribe, who is among the three persons standing as sureties for the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu, on Tuesday pleaded with the Federal High Court in Abuja to be relieved of that role.
Three of the co-defendants facing charges of treasonable felony with Kanu were brought to the court by prison officials at about 10am amid tight security.
The Abia South Senator, who told Justice Binta Nyako, that he had no information about Kanu’s whereabouts, applied to the court to refund the N100m bond earlier agreed by him to be given as part of Kanu’s bail condition.
A lawyer, who appeared for Abaribe at the resumption of trial on Tuesday, Mr. Ogechi Ogunna, informed the judge that the senator had filed a motion seeking to be discharged as a surety for the defendant.
But the judge in response said the senator had three options, one of which was for Abaribe to produce the defendant in court and then apply to be discharged as a surety.
The other option the judge gave was for Abaribe to be ready to forfeit his N100m bail bond, while the third option was for the lawmaker to ask to be given time to produce the defendant.
But Ogunna replied saying “he (Abaribe) is not in a position to do any of these.”
Justice Nyako however insisted that Abaribe must opt for one of the three options.
With the judge’s insistence, Ogunna opted to be given time to produce him.
Kanu, who was granted bail in April, was meant to re-appear before the court at its resumed sitting but the IPOB leader has not been seen since soldiers raided his Abia residence in September.
Still at the day’s sitting, the judge threatened to withdraw from the case over what she described as attempts by the defense to frustrate her.
Justice Nyako handed the warning Tuesday after a series of arguments between herself and defense lawyers.
Reacting to an application by Kanu’s lawyer, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, the judge said she had been pushed to the brink by the defendant’s counsel and would recuse herself.
“If you don’t want me to continue in this matter, I will recuse myself,” she said.
The lawyer was speaking on a motion he planned to bring before the court, but whose content had not been listed by Nyako when the argument ensued.
“I told you that the matter is not yet before me,” the judge said, adding that the defendant counsel were making the matter difficult.
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