Enyinnaya Abaribe, the Minority Leader at the Nigerian Senate, has said he would be willing to stand as surety if Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), is granted a temporary bail again.
Abaribe said he would do this as long as the circumstances are the same as 2017.
Abaribe was speaking in an interview with TVC on on why he should not be held accountable for Kanu’s escape from Nigeria after the raid of the Nigerian Army on the residence of the secessionist.
He said Geoffrey Onyeama, Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, ignored his request to confirm Kanu’s whereabouts in 2018.
“When Kanu resurfaced in Israel, I immediately wrote a letter to the foreign affairs ministry, asking the ministry to instruct our Nigerian Ambassador in Israel to ascertain whether the person we were seeing his pictures was in Israel but I never got a response from the minister,” said Abaribe.
Onyeama hasn’t answered FIJ’s calls or responded to the text message to him for comments over Abaribe’s claim.
Meanwhile, in September 2017, Kanu’s house was invaded by Nigeria’s security forces including the Army and Police. Thereafter, Kanu went missing until he resurfaced in October 2018 praying at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, Israel.
Along the line, the Federal High Court in Abuja issued an arrest warrant for Kanu while revoking the rights of the Abaribe and two others as sureties of the IPOB leader.
Abaribe told TVC that Kanu’s disappearance should not be interpreted as contempt of the court.
He explained: “There is a difference between jumping bail and escaping for your life. I went back to court and deposed that on the basis of the principle of ‘last seen’, that the last people seen with him were soldiers of the Nigerian army who were invading his father’s residence.
“The judge ultimately ruled that she was revoking bail and issued a warrant of arrest, thereby removing us from the responsibility of providing him. A lot of people did not understand.”
Four years after Kanu fled from the country, the Nigerian government rearrested him in Kenya and extradited him for prosecution. The case is set to be heard on July 26.
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