Barrister Aloy Ejimakor, counsel to the Leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu explained why his client did not appear in court on Thursday, November 26th, 2020. Barrister Aloy Ejimofor said he needed to be assured of his client’s security while speaking with newsmen in Abuja.
The legal luminary advised the Nigerian judicial system to do the needful by determining why the Nigerian Army ‘invaded Kanu’s home in 2017, killing 28 persons in the process’.
According to him, “Nnamdi Kanu didn’t appear because he is not in Nigeria. And his trial in absentia is open to question. It shouldn’t happen. Our position is that the court should have conducted a hearing as to why Nnamdi Kanu has repeatedly failed to appear in court. If that inquiry is conducted, it will bring to the fore what happened in September 2017. And it will allow introducing evidence in the proceedings to demonstrate why nobody under such circumstances should be expected to appear in court because the army went in there to kill him. I don’t know what the court expected him to do–to stay here and be killed and be brought to court, or what?
“If someone is on bail, such a person is under the protection of the court. And now, an agency of the same government that is prosecuting this man sent its armed forces to this man, to kill this man. And 28 men were killed. The court is not inquiring into that, and they are solely concerned about proceeding with his trial in absentia. It shouldn’t happen in a well-ordered system. We just have to get to the root: why did he not appear in court? That is the question”.
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“If it is settled, it will be determined on whether he jumped bail of which no conclusion like that will ever be reached. If the court makes such an inquiry, it will also allow the court to determine what happened in 2017. Then they can tell Mr. Kanu to come and face your trial in court because the court will give you protection. When that is done, he will come. I guarantee he will come. Once the court makes a pronouncement on why he is not there and makes a ruling, then he will appear. But this court is not doing that. If they proceed with the absentia trial, the international community will see it as a kangaroo.”
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On the call to arrest Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, who is one of Kanu’s sureties, Barr Ejimakor said, “I am representing the Jewish Rabbi, Immanuel Shalom, the co-surety for Nnamdi Kanu. Abaribe was not the only surety. The other one is Mr. Tochukwu Uchendu, an accountant. They are of equal footing with N100m each, totaling N300m. That is what they stand to lose if Nnamdi Kanu is determined to have jumped bail. Abaribe’s case is the same as my client’s case. We have the case in court that the bail bond cannot be revoked without conducting a hearing on why the person that was given the bail did not appear in court. The sureties cannot be said to have breached their bonds in circumstances such as Nnamdi Kanu’s situation where 28 persons were killed in his house. They bonded a man alive, and they want him produced in court dead? It can’t happen. The bond subsists, and no one is going to lose any money, and nobody is going to jail for a bail bond that was not breached, but by the Nigerian Army.”
Also speaking, Prince Emma Kanu, a brother to the IPOB leader, told our correspondent that, “If you look at what happened, you will understand that the hearing notice was served late. The judge had to adjourn the case to 27th January 2021 for a hearing. Nnamdi Kanu will appear if his safety is guaranteed. There is nothing there. Kanu is not afraid of his trial.”