The Senator representing Abia South, Eyinnaya Abaribe, has accused the Chief of Army, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, of frustrating his role as a surety in the bail granted the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, by a Federal High Court in Abuja.
Abaribe stated this in a fresh motion he filed before the court where he and Kanu’s two other sureties had been ordered to explain the IPOB leader’s whereabouts.
The senator had earlier filed a motion seeking to be discharged as Kanu’s surety, but the trial judge, Justice Binta Nyako, directed during the previous proceedings of October 17, 2017, that the senator could not withdraw his suretyship until Kanu was produced before the court.
Kanu, who is being prosecuted alongside others on charges bordering on treasonable felony, was on Monday absent from court for the second time after the alleged invasion of his home in Abia State by soldiers on September 14, and had been declared missing by his family since then.
But Abaribe was present in court on Monday.
He stated in a fresh motion filed through his lawyer, Chukwuma-Machukwu Ume (SAN), on November 17, 2017, that he should not be held responsible for the unavailability of Kanu to attend court for his trial, but alleged that Kanu’s unknown whereabouts was caused by the “whimsical, capricious, subversive and extrajudicial self-help” embarked upon by the Chief of Army Staff.
The senator maintained that the Chief of Army Staff was aware of the pending charges against Kanu when he allegedly deployed soldiers to “forcefully and violently” invade the IPOB leader’s home in Afaraukwu Ibeku-Umuahia, in Abia State on September 14, 2017.
He noted that the conduct of the COAS with deployment of the soldiers were with “most probable effect” of preventing him (Kanu) from attending court to continue his trial.
He said he opted to be Kanu’s surety out of “patriotic consideration of assisting the judicial process to defuse the tension already generated in the polity.”
His lawyer, Ume, argued in the motion that the Chief of Army Staff’s “extrajudicial self-help conduct obviously frustrated the proceedings and course of administration of justice (in the bail and bail bond granted and executed in Charge No. FHC/ABJ/CR/383/2015).”
The lawyer maintained that the “actions have brought the honourable court to some ridicule and its power appear nugatory.”
The senator therefore sought in the fresh motion, an order, directing the Chief of Army Staff to explain to the court why the Attorney General of the Federation should not “be compelled to initiate contempt charges/proceedings against him for his extrajudicial self-help conducts.”
He also sought an order compelling Buratai to produce Kanu in court “and to explain to the satisfaction of the honourable court the circumstance surrounding his whereabouts.”
Abaribe had entered into a N100m bail bond with the title papers of his Abuja property used as guarantee, in order to secure the release of Kanu on bail.
Abaribe stands to lose the property if he is adjudged to have failed to adequately play his role as a surety.
But in his motion, the senator insisted that Buratai should bear the payment of the bail bond if Kanu was not produced in court.
He therefore sought, “an order of the honourable court compelling the Chief of Army Staff, on failure to produce the 1st defendant/2nd respondent (Kanu), to pay to the court, the sum in the bail bond earlier executed by the applicant on behalf of the 1st defendant/2nd respondent.”
Abaribe also asked the court to compel Buratai “to offset all expenses” he (Abaribe) had incurred in the proceedings as well as pay to him (Abaribe), damages of N10m “for the psychological trauma the applicant has gone through following the extrajudicial self-help actions of the Chief of Army Staff.”
Arguing in his written address, Abaribe’s lawyer, Chukwuma-Machukwu, contended, “We humbly submit to Your Lordship that due to the whimsical, capricious, subversive and extrajudicial self-help embarked upon by the Chief of Army Staff, the applicant (Abaribe) was not informed, neither would he have known, or discovered the whereabouts of the 1st defendant (Kanu) as a result of which, his suretyship was frustrated.”
A lawyer in Ume’s law firm, Mr. Okechukwu Nliam, narrated his version of the circumstances leading to Kanu’s disappearance.
He noted that the manner of the alleged invasion of Kanu’s home by soldiers, leaving many dead with their corpses littering the compound and the pulling out by midnight of September 14, 2017, was suspicious.
He stated that since the military action, Kanu had not been seen or heard from “either privately or publicly up till date.”
He said, “That surprisingly and in an extrajudicial self-help bravado, from September 11 to 14, 2017, obviously before the announced scheduled date of the said Operation Python Dance (Egwu Eke) II, the Nigerian Army on the instruction of the Chief of Army Staff deployed truck-loads of heavily armed soldiers, armoured tanks and other intimidating offensive military weapons in the home town and residence of the 1st defendant/2nd respondent (Kanu) at Isiama, Afaraukwu-Ibeku, Umuahia, Abia State.
“That the entire community and the residence of the defendant, where he resided with his parents in the palace of his father, His Royal Highness Eze Israel Kanu, the traditional ruler of the community, were in a manner of an extrajudicial self-help bravado surrounded and occupied by soldiers and armoured tanks.”
Source: ( Punch Newspaper)
Kwara Governor, Abdulrazaq Declares 24-hour Curfew
Following the outbreak of violence in some quarters of the State, Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq of Kwara State has declared a 24-hour Curfew on the state starting on Saturday.
Governor Abdulrazaq made this known in a statewide broadcast on Friday night.
Recall that on Friday some residents of Ilorin, the Kwara State capital stormed the warehouses where the government stored COVID-19 palliatives expected to be distributed to citizens.
Also Read: BREAKING: Lagos Government Relaxes Curfew
The warehouses, located at the cargo warehouse of the International airport in Ilorin as well as the agro-mall located in the Sango area of the state were totally ransacked as residents struggled to pack as much food items as they could.
Abdulrazaq said, “Lives are being threatened. Businesses are being looted. Public properties have been targeted. This is unacceptable. It is not who we are.
“To curb these acts of criminalities, I hereby declare a 24-hour curfew in Ilorin metropolis from midnight today October 23rd, 2020. This is in line with Sections 1, 2, and 4 of the Public Order Act Chapter 382 Laws of Federation of Nigeria 2004.
“People are urged to stay indoors in compliance with this curfew. This will be reviewed as we watch developments.
“Our observation is that what has happened today is not a protest, it cannot be defended under any guide, it was a pure act of criminality as some people are hiding under the guise of nationwide protest.”
Lagos Policemen Brutalise PUNCH Journalists For Covering #EndSARS Protest
Two PUNCH journalists, Femi Dawodu and Segun Odunayo, were on Wednesday brutalised by policemen guarding the Lagos State House of Assembly in Ikeja.
The duo had gone to cover events around the Alausa area, a major demonstration ground of the #EndSARS protesters calling for a total overhaul of the Nigeria Police Force.
According to the PUNCH, both Odunayo and Dawodu were recording a live video of activities in the area when the policemen accosted them and ordered them to stop the recording.
After showing the policemen their identity cards, indicating that they are journalists covering #EndSARS protests and monitoring compliance with the government-imposed curfew, the policemen became annoyed and pounced on them.
Odunayo said the policemen tortured them for four hours, adding that they stripped them of their clothes, laid them on the floor, beat them with a stick and guns, and took a video recording of them while torturing them at the Lagos State House of Assembly.
Odunayo said, “Femi and I were at the Secretariat in Alausa around 7 am and were doing a live video of the activities going on in the area. We were heading back to the expressway when a group of armed policemen accosted us at the Lagos State House of Assembly roundabout and immediately collected our phones. We showed them our ID cards, but they refused to let us go.
“What got the policemen annoyed was that we saw them using a stick and a rubber to beat a young man, and during the live video, they heard me saying that they were beating someone. So, after they arrested us, they tortured us and demanded that we should do another live video denying the statement, but we refused.
“Each Time we refused, they slapped us, used a stick to beat us, used the butt of their guns to hit our heads and bodies after stripping us of our clothes. All they wanted was for us to do another live broadcast to claim that we lied and we didn’t because we told the truth.”
Dawodu said it took the intervention of the state Police Public Relations Officer, Muyiwa Adejobi before they were released at the Alausa Police Station, adding that before their release, the policemen took their details, including their addresses, took a video record of them and threatened to go after them if any negative report was published about what happened.
He said, “The policemen were transferring the aggression of what is happening regarding the #EndSARS protest on us. They later took us to the Divisional Police Station in Alausa, and if not for the DPO, the policemen guarding the LSHA that arrested us would have done more grievous things to us.
“The PPRO and the DPO later spoke with them, and we were released.
“But despite his intervention, we were told to write statements. They collected our details, address, took video recordings of us making false statements during the torture, and threatened to use it to blackmail and go after us if we end up doing any bad report against them.”
CCTV At Lekki Toll Gate Was Not Removed -Lekki Concession Company Says
Lekki Concession Company in their press release has debunked the rumour that the Lekki Toll Gate CCTV camera was not removed.
According to the press release by the company which condemns the unlawful killings of the peaceful protesters said no one gave the order for the removal of the Closed Circuit Television System as the CCTV is still intact as of the time of this report.
Speaking further, the concession company revealed that if the CCTV was to be removed, it would require the use of machinery to reach the heights that they have been installed.
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