‘He has no capacity to produce Nnamdi Kanu’ — Ohanaeze Ndigbo demands immediate release of Abaribe

Ohanaeze Ndigbo, apex Igbo socio-political organisation, has demanded the immediate release of Eyinnaya Abaribe, a senator from Abia state.

Operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) arrested Abaribe in Abuja on Friday morning.

Although the DSS did not disclose the reason for this, it is believed to be over the surety he stood for Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), who has not been seen in public since September.

In April 2017, a federal high court in Abuja granted bail to Kanu after 18 months in detention.

Abaribe alongside Tochukwu Uchendu and Emmanuel Shallom Ben, stood as sureties for the IPOB leader and signed a bond of N100m each.

The sureties have been under pressure to produce Kanu who was standing trial for alleged treason.

In a statement on Friday, John Nnia Nwodo, president general of Ohaneze Ndigbo, said the circumstances at the time of the “disappearance” of Kanu are beyond the “contemplation of the law that a surety can guarantee the production of an accused person”.

“The army in the name of ‘Operation Python Dance’ invaded Nnamdi’s home and destabilised normalcy there,” the statement read.

“It is only the security agency that can disclose Nnamdi’s whereabouts. Senator Abaribe has no capacity, nor has any surety in the circumstances to know the whereabouts of Nnamdi Kanu. What happened in Umahia was an invasion, a war of a kind.

“Nnamdi may have been killed or captured in the imbroglio or even escaped into hiding.

“The onus lies on the security forces to disclose his whereabouts. The judiciary is beginning to tow the line of the executive by throwing the law overboard in matters that affect the south-east.

“We are all equal before the law. Senator Abaribe must be released forthwith.”