-As they stand the risk of being arrested and detained, lawyers alarm
Nnamdi Kanu’s failure to appear in court on Tuesday, October 17, 2017 has sent a danger signal to his sureties as they all stand the risk of being arrested and detained pending the time the accused Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) leader will resurface. Not only that the sureties’ financial bond will also be forfeited to the Federal Government in line with the dictates of the law.
Speaking with encomium.ng on the issue on Wednesday, October 18, 2017, an Abuja based lawyer, Barrister Toyin Bamgbose-Falaiye submitted, “Nnamdi Kanu, by his actions, has put all those who stood surety for him in jeopardy as he had failed to appear in court on Tuesday, October 17, 2017 over his case with the Federal Government. The court will surely bench warrant his sureties and they will also forfeit their financial bond (if involved) to the FG. It’s most unfortunate, but that’s what the law requires. And the most painful thing is that these people stood for him based on utmost trust and belief that he won’t jump the bail.”
In his elaborate submission, a Lagos based legal practitioner, Barrister John Itodo also stated:
Nnamdi Kanu’s matter came up on October 17, 2017 for his trial which could not proceed due to his absence in court. The effect of his absence on the trial (as it is for all criminal trials) is that trial will not proceed in his absence; so, until Nnamdi Kanu is found and brought to court, his trial and that of his co-defendants will remain stalled, except the other accused persons bring application(s) to sever the charge and proceed with them separately.
Another effect is that, the bail bond may be activated against him and his surety, especially if there is any financial bond from him and his surety, that, will be forfeited to the Federal Government; in addition to the fact that his surety may be arrested and detained until, the accused person resurfaces. This is what makes sureteeship of an accused person a dangerous venture.
Let us remember that the main objective of bail is for the accused or defendant (as it is used in some jurisdiction) to present himself for his trial and so when Nnamdi Kanu was admitted to bail it was against this background that he will present himself for his trial that he was admitted to bail.
In admitting a person to bail, he is required to fulfill or meet certain conditions part of which usually is that he or she would be admitted to bail in the sum of XYZ and 1, 2, or 3 sureties in like sum or other sums as the court may deem appropriate.
In Kanu’s case, being absent from court on the day of his trial may earn him a bench warrant and an arrest, assuming what his counsel says, that he is dead or his whereabouts is not known is not true. But if it is true that he is dead, that terminates the matter against him.
The Prosecutor will amend his charge and proceed against the other persons.
- Tade Asifat