Making Nnamdi Kanu a Kind of Hero | Nigeria Newspaper- Nigeria News| Naija News

25.10.17

Making Nnamdi Kanu a Kind of Hero

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 Making Nnamdi Kanu a Kind of Hero
Nnamdi Kanu
 
Punch columnist, Leka Sotey has revisited the Nnamdi Kanu issue which has become a subject of litigation implication a People's Democratic Party chieftain, Abaribe. 
Justice Binta Murtala-Nyako has given Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe certain conditions before he can be discharged from being surety for missing leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, who recently failed to appear in court.
 
Federal prosecutors insist that Abaribe, as surety, must account for the whereabouts of Kanu. But he claims that his last contact with Kanu was on Monday, September 11, 2017, a day after Kanu’s home was invaded by the military.
 
Kanu reportedly spoke to journalists on the day of the invasion: “I was sleeping this evening (of Sunday, September 10, 2017) when suddenly I was woken up by blaring of sirens… The blaring persisted, and was followed by sporadic gunshots. The soldiers wanted to bulldoze their way into the palace, but IPOB members formed a human shield, and resisted them.”
 
If Kanu granted this seeming press interview on Sunday, September 10, Senator Abaribe saw him on Monday, September 11, and a detachment of the Nigerian Army under the Operation Python Dance II surrounded his home on Tuesday, September 12, after which he got missing, methinks the Army may have some explanation to make.
 
Kanu’s lawyer, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, taking full advantage of this window, told Justice Murtala-Nyako that Kanu got missing after the Army invaded his home. Therefore, he argues, the Army, or the government by extension, was in the best position to produce Kanu. It’s difficult to fault this argument.
 
Those savvy in the ways and methods of security services speculate that a second visit to Kanu’s home by the Army may have been occasioned by the need to scoop evidence to confirm what might have been revealed during interrogation of persons arrested during the first raid.
 
But did Ejiofor, Abaribe, or Kanu’s younger brother, Emmanuel, do the needful by reporting to the Divisional Police Office nearest to Kanu’s home that he got missing after Operation Python Dance II soldiers marched their jackboot footsteps to his home? Probably not.
 
It was necessary to go through that motion, and not get carried away by the euphoria or confusion of the heat of the moment. A video clip showing bullet pockmarks, ransacked closets, scattered personal effects, a tale of stolen television sets, generator, and clothes, and unsubstantiated allegations of the arrest of a man with weapon, cannot amount to judicious notice in the eye of the law.
 
Even the claim by IPOB spokesman, Emma Powerful, that “(A) combined team of (army, police, and Department of Security Services agents) arrived in Kanu’s house with armoured vehicles, and sophisticated weapons,” is at best the report of a biased witness.
 
A formal report is even more pertinent, now that Orji Uzor Kalu, a former Governor of Abia State, who was reported to have claimed that Kanu had escaped to London, via Malaysia, has denied he ever said so. He only volunteered that, “(A) relation (of Kanu) told me I should not worry about (Kanu’s) safety, because I told him that what matters to me is the safety of the man.” The police may need to ask Orji Kalu to produce that Kanu relation.
 
But despite the omissions by Kanu’s sympathisers, defence lawyers, and public relations agents, government cannot deny that its agents entered into the home of Kanu, and it was after this event that Kanu, his parents, some of his siblings, or their bodies, got missing.
 
If indeed the Army reportedly raided the secretariat of Abia State secretariat of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, because somebody took photographs of them from the secretariat, it sounds like somebody wants to destroy, or retrieve, evidence of something.
 
This is plausible, if the Army, in compliance with the practice of modern armies, recorded a video of its entry into the home of Kanu. Abaribe may have to request Justice Murtala-Nyako to subpoena those videos, if they exist, to prove, or disprove, that the Army took Kanu, and the rest of his household, away.
 
From the foregoing, one could argue that the whereabouts of Kanu, or his body, should be accounted for by Kanu himself, the Army, occupants of the NUJ secretariat, Orji Kalu, who voluntarily entered into the fray, some say, to jeer at Abaribe, Kanu’s relation who spoke with the former governor, and Abaribe, who bailed Kanu, and has the most legal responsibility to produce him.
 
Bail is a monetary or other security given to insure the appearance of a defendant at every stage of court proceedings. Those posting bail are in the position of surety, and the money is the security for the accused’s appearance in court.
 
Bail is used to procure the release of a prisoner, to relieve him of imprisonment, and free the state of the burden of keeping him, pending trial, or hearing. A surety, like Senator Abaribe, undertakes to pay in the event the accused fails to show up. A bail bond, like the one Abaribe entered into, is a promissory note, executed to secure the release of an individual in the custody of the law.
 
And Justice Murtala-Nyako has rightly asked Abaribe to produce Kanu in court; request more time to do so; forfeit his N100 million bail bond, or possibly become a guest of the Comptroller-General of the Nigerian Prisons Service.
 
The demand by Justice Murtala-Nyako is a positive step in unravelling the whereabouts of Kanu, and she must be firm with Abaribe, who will be forced to call on the Army to show causes why they should not be helping him to determine the whereabouts of Kanu, or his body.
 
Justice Murtala-Nyako, who granted bail to Kanu on health grounds on April 28, 2017, gave some rather stiff conditions, most of which Kanu has flouted, to the discomfiture of Abaribe, who undertook to guarantee his good conduct: Kanu must not hold rallies, grant (press) interviews, and be in a crowd of more than 10 persons at a time.
 
He must deposit his Nigerian and British passports with the court, provide the court with progress reports of his health, provide three sureties in the sum of N100m each, one of whom must be resident, and have landed property, in Abuja.
 
The second surety must be a cleric of Judaism, the Jewish religion of Kanu. Abaribe became the third surety because he is Kanu’s senator, representing Abia South Senatorial district in the Nigerian Senate.
 
In order to further complicate Abaribe’s plight, the Attorney General of the Federation has asked the court to revoke Kanu’s bail because of his flagrant disobedience of the bail conditions, which he has observed largely in the breach. Many saw that coming.
 
The AGF has added even more fuel to the fire: “The first defendant (Kanu), in furtherance of the offence he was charged (with), inaugurated (the unconstitutional) Biafra Secret Service.” A lawyer has said that by setting up a secret service, Kanu entered into the realm of a breach of national security, which compels his presence in court, as well as being held in prison till he proves his innocence.
 
But lest these legal and public relations gymnastics become distractions, government should direct the investigative capabilities of the police, Army, DSS, even the National Intelligence Agency that deals with external snoops, to find Kanu, who has undeservedly become a kind of hero.

Twitter @lekansote1

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