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Tuesday, 26 June 2018

COURT UPDATE: SENATOR ABARIBE RETURNS TO DSS CUSTODY AS COURT ABANDONS HEARING

COURT UPDATE: SENATOR ABARIBE RETURNS TO DSS CUSTODY AS COURT ABANDONS HEARING

Moses Agbo
Reporting for Family Writers Press

* "I am not aware neither did I give an order for the arrest of your client, distinguished Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe.
-Justice Binta Nyako

* "I will help the DSS to keep your client in detention pending when you are ready for this case.
-Justice Binta Nyako

At exactly 10:38am today Tuesday 26th June 2018, the presiding judge of an Abuja-based Federal High Court, Justice Binta Nyako arrived. This was immediately followed by the formal introduction of the counsels in the case led by Barrister Labaran Shaibu, prosecuting and Barrister Ifeanyi Ejiofor leading the counsels in defense of the first surety, distinguished Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe. Barrister Aloy Ejimakor appeared for the second surety while Barrister Chiude appeared for the third surety. Barrister Rafa Yusuf appeared for the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant-General Tukur Buratai.

After the introduction of the legal counsels on both sides, Barrister Ifeanyi Ejiofor in a matter of fact, stated that his client, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe cannot proceed with the hearings on handcuffs, stressing that the officials of the Department of Security Services (DSS) had arrested and kept him in custody for days even in the absence of any court order. To this, the presiding judge jokingly interjected, if she has a concern in that. Barrister Ejimakor making his submission stated that his client, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe was arrested simply based on the surety he stood for Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). He further made clarification of his claim in response to the question from the presiding judge who demanded his knowledge on the matter, that he has repeatedly been snobbed by the DSS on his enquiries on the reason behind the arrest and detention of his client.

Justice Binta Nyako pointedly stated that she is ignorant of the arrest and detention of the distinguished Senator, neither did she authorize such by any order. She thereby stated that the arrest is not in her jurisdiction and so could not make further comment regarding it. She therefore advised Barrister Aloy Ejimakor to institute the needed legal approach in response to the established.

Barrister Labaran Shaibu appearing for the Nigerian government, noted that he never envisaged any setback on the proceedings and prayed that the day's business be allowed to proceed. He asked the court to as a matter of justice, give accelerated hearing to the trial.

The leading defense counsel, Barrister Ifeanyi Ejiofor standing up, explained how he was hurriedly served  motions which needed time to digest. The judge not pleased with the slow pace of proceedings, cautioned that if the defense counsels resort to truncating processes, she will help corroborate the efforts of the "fast guy" that orchestrated the arrest of the distinguished Senator by ensuring that he be kept in custody pending their preparedness. Responding, Barrister Ifeanyi Ejiofor expressed some disappointments on the belated manner the motion on notice was served him same morning of the court hearing. He thereby prayed that the presiding judge, should as a matter of justice accept his request for adjournment to prepare for appropriate response.

Justice Binta Nyako,  in anger,  pointed out what she described as "lack of seriousness and covert bid" by the defense counsels to frustrate her in hearing the case as scheduled. She repeatedly stated that if they are adopting delay tactics in the matter, she will help the DSS whom she described as the "smart guy", to keep Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe (first surety applicant), in detention pending their preparedness in the case. Following this confessional statements of the presiding judge therefore, Barrister Ifeanyi Ejiofor in hearing such from the judge that earlier claimed ignorance and non-complicity in the arrest and detention of the Senator, wisely threw up a challenge before her to clarify if she secretly connived with the DSS in the persecution of the distinguished Senator. The sudden dramatic and unguided statement from Justice Binta Nyako got revealing as her utterances became somewhat personal. She  threatened that if Barrister Ifeanyi Ejiofor persist with his confrontational stance, she will get him suspended from her court. Barrister Ejiofor thereby tendered apology with the mammoth crowd that gathered in the court showing their disdain through murmurings as the episode lasted. It further proved that the presiding judge may have been surreptitiously working in concert with the DSS, while hiding under the cover of public interest.

Speaking further, Barrister Aloy Ejimakor prayed on insistence that the issue of his client remaining in DSS custody needed urgent attention, stating that his arrest few days ago was completely unnecessary prior to his court appearance today. Pointedly giving instances why his client must be freed from the DSS custody, he posted that such must have to be considered in the interest of justice. He reminded the court that the man in question is a serving Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and therefore has no intention whatsoever to escape from the country he is diligently serving. The Barrister wondered why his client should be subjected to such a gestapo-kind of arrest by an agency that should know rule of the law. He urged the court to as a matter of expediency and justice, give an order for his immediate release from detention. This he reasoned will in a greater measure calm down frayed nerves of especially members of the Senator's constituency.

After hearing this plea, Justice Binta Nyako resolved to give an order to the DSS, allowing Barrister Aloy Ejimakor's unhindered access to his client anytime he intends visiting him in detention. She stressed that since the order for the Senator's arrest did not originate from my office, there is a limit to my intervention for his release, she emphasized. She maintained that she is ignorant of the reason that prompted his arrest.

Serious arguments were further advanced by the leading counsels to the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) worldwide, who agitated the need for separation of Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe from the subsisting case. This was premised on the fact that there exists other applicants who could yet testify about the whereabouts of Nnamdi Kanu. It was argued that the case should proceed through the quashing out of Senator Abaribe's from the main.

The case was however adjourned to the 14th of November, 2018. Counsels at both ends agreed on the need to properly give service of notice as duly required. No measures regarding the release of the distinguished Senator was initiated immediately. However, Barrister Ifeanyi Ejiofor pledged to initiate necessary moves to facilitate such a move.

1 comment

  1. since the presiding judge- Justice Binta Nyako - claimed she was not aware of, neither did she order the arrest and detention of our brother - Senator Abaribe - by the DSS, this it may be construed that the action of the DSS is illegal.

    1. He was built to appear in court before his arrest and detention.
    2. He has never escaped appearing in court before.
    3. He has never been convicted of any crime in connection with the surety for our beloved Nnamdi Kanu.

    So there is no justifiable cause for DSS to arrest and detain him in their custody, talk more of handcuffing him before bringing him into the court.

    For me, his legal team should first of all challenge his illegal arrest and detention and violation of his rights.

    ReplyDelete

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