The move by the Federal Government to hold Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe and others responsible for the disappearance of Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), may hit a brick wall as legal opinions outside government circles do not seem to support such a plan.
A source conversant with the matter told our correspondent that the preponderance of legal opinions showed that it was the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. T.Y. Buratai, and the Commanders of Operation Python Dance (2) that should be held responsible for Kanu’s disappearance and not anyone else.
According to our source, the Federal Government and its military would have themselves to blame if Kanu remains incommunicado, by October 17, 2017, the date he is expected to appear in court to answer to the charges pending against him.
“The idea of holding sureties responsible for the disappearance of Nnamdi Kanu is not only ridiculous but laughable. It is true that some personalities signed the bail bond that led to his release from prison.
It is also true that Kanu may have violated some of his bail conditions, but that should have been left to the court to decide and then mete the necessary sanctions on him. “The bail bond was the outcome of a judicial process and therefore, a legal instrument of a court of competent jurisdiction.
It is obvious that the court did not envisage that the Federal Government, a party in the dispute, will, at some point, take the laws into its own hands and act in the manner it has done.
“Why did the Federal Government decide to resort to self-help by invading the residence of Kanu with armoured tanks? It is more or less jungle justice to invade the home of an unarmed Nigerian citizen, shooting sporadically at the building and causing unquantifiable collateral damages.
As it is today, neither Kanu’s lawyers nor the sureties have seen Kanu since the military invasion of his home.
“It is only the Federal Government and the military that can tell the world why they preempted the court and decided to take the laws into their own hands. It is because they either wanted to arrest Kanu and detain him ahead of his date in court, or they wanted to kill him using jungle justice. Either way, they cannot eat their cake and have it.
The onus lies on them to produce Kanu when the need arises because they have willfully sidelined the due process of the court in their desperation to achieve political goals.
They can’t eat their cake and still have it,” the source said. Although Abaribe could not be reached on his mobile phone for reactions to the development, his Special Assistant on Media Affairs, Mr Uche Awom, told Sunday Telegraph that his principal and others who stood surety for Kanu did so in good faith and as law abiding citizens of Nigeria.
According to Awom, there was no cause for alarm as the sureties had kept their own side of the bargain before the military threw spanners in the works. (New Telegraph)