A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mike Ozekhome, has said the invasion of the home of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu complicated the legal case against him.
This comes hours after the IPOB leader was absent in court to answer to accusations of engaging in activities that posed threat to Nigeria’s sovereignty which were slammed against him by the federal government.
Speaking on the matter when he appeared on Channels Television’s Politics Today, Ozekhome said the government should have waited for the result of the legal actions taken against the IPOB leader and not resort to invading his residence by the military.
He said: “Now assuming that Nnamdi Kanu has breached every single material particular of those bails, what is the answer? The answer is again through the judicial process.
“The Federal Government has already done the right thing through its lawyers that filed a motion before the same judge, Justice Binta Nyako, to say ‘my lord, Nnamdi Kanu has breached these bail conditions. The Federal Government should have waited for that legal process to accomplish rather than invade the home through the military.”
Following Kanu’s alleged disappearance, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, who volunteered as surety for the IPOB leader when he was granted bail, approached the court requesting to be discharged from the suretyship, bond and recognisance of his bail.
On Senator Abaribe’s application, Ozekhome said: “That is where section 171 of the administration of the Criminal Justice Act comes into play.
“The section says a surety can go back to court and apply and say ‘hello sir, discharge me from my suretyship obligation, I can no longer see the person that I stood surety for because that person, after the invasion of his home, I’ve not seen him. Abaribe in law will be entitled to ask the court for such prayers.”
“The question then comes; can you tell Senator Abaribe to produce a person that he cannot lay hands on? God forbid, let us assume Nnamdi Kanu was kidnapped and he’s in kidnappers’ den, can you call Abaribe and say ‘you must produce Nnamdi Kanu, even though we are aware that he’s in the kidnappers’ den?” he wondered.
Ozekhome added,“We saw that the period of invasion was the last time Nigerians saw Nnamdi Kanu in his house. That’s what you call the ‘doctrine of the last scene’. So going by the doctrine of last seen, and the doctrine of ‘res ipsa loquitur’, it means that the last time Nigerians saw Nnamdi Kanu was when he was in his home in Umuahia and the military invaded that home and he has not been seen since then”