The “missing” leader of the purportedly banned Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu on Tuesday failed to appear in court to join his fellow defendants for the continuation of their treason trial at the Federal High Court Abuja.
Others standing trial alongside the IPOB leader before the Justice Binta Nyako-led Federal High Court include, Chidiebere Onwudiwe; an IPOB member, Benjamin Madubugwu and David Nwawuisi were however in court.
Kanu, alongside the three defendants are facing charges bordering on treasonable felony.
At the resumed hearing Kanu’s counsel, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, told the court that the Federal Government is holding his client in custody.
But an unimpressed Justice Binta Nyako, said she had no time for drama.
“You know I don’t like drama. What Mr. Labaran has just said is that the first defendant is not here and because of that I should revoke his bail. Now it’s my turn to ask you: where is your defendant?”
Mr. Ejiofor responded by saying that he cannot tell whether Mr. Kanu is still alive or dead.
The IPOB leader has been missing since troops of the Nigerian Army invaded his Afaraukwu country home in Abia State on September 14.
In any case, the senator who stood surety for Kanu, Eyinaya Abaribe, PDP-Abia, applied to court to refund the N100 million bond he had posted as part of Mr. Kanu’s bail condition.
Supporting his motion, the lawyer representing the senator, Obiechi Ogbonna cited the invasion of Mr. Kanu’s residence on September 11, during which a confrontation occurred between IPOB supporters and the Nigerian Army.
He said Kanu since then has not been seen.
He stated, “Since the stated visit of the Nigerian Army to the residence of the first defendant from September 11, 2017, the second respondent in this suit (Mr. Kanu) has not been seen in public, neither has he been reported as making any statement on any issue.”
“Since September 20, the reports have been that the federal government has proscribed IPOB, and declared it a terrorist organization.
“The activities of the Nigerian Army as affecting the second defendant are matters of state secret incapable of being unravelled by the applicant, which activities have put the second defendant out of the reach of the applicant, such that the applicant cannot reasonably be expected to produce the second defendant before this court.
“The applicant lacks capacity to produce the person stated by the first respondent (government) as a terrorist or a person who is of interest to the applicant.”
However the learned judge decided that his application for withdrawal cannot be heard until he produced the IPOB leader in court. Justice Nyako on application, granted Abaribe time to produce Kanu.
The matter was adjourned till November 20.
Kanu’s other three sureties were not in court; neither were they represented.