SECESSIONIST group the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (Massob) has castigated the Arewa Youths Consultative Forum (AYCF) for demanding the arrest of Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe over the fact that Nnamdi Kanu jumped bail.
Earlier this week, the Federal High Court in Abuja ordered that Senator Ali Ndume, the lawmaker representing Borno South Senatorial District be remanded in custody after Abdulrasheed Maina, for trial in a N2bn money laundering case, the former chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team, who he stood surety for jumped bail. Justice Okon Abang ordered that he remain detained at Kuje Prison until he either produces the defendant or disposes the N500m worth of property located in Asokoro, Abuja, used as bail bond.
This immediately led to the AYCF demanding that Senator Abaribe, who stood surety for Indigenous People of Biafra (Ipob) leader Nnamdi Kanu also be arrested because his ward jumped bail too. Mr Kanu had been facing treason charges but jumped bail and fled abroad, however, Senator Abaribe did not face any sanctions despite standing as surety for him.
AYCF president Yerima Shettima demanded the immediate arrest and prosecution of Senator Abaribe for his role in the freedom of Mr Kanu. He claimed that since Senator Ndume was arrested for failing to produce Mr Maina, Senator Abaribe must also be arrested for Mr Kanu’s disappearance.
Mr Shettima said: “We are not denying if Maina committed an offence or not but we believe it amounts to setting bad example if Senator Abaribe, who stood as surety for Kanu, is still walking the streets as a free man. We cannot understand why Senator Abaribe, who secured bail for Ipob’s Kanu whose action has since been declared treasonable, has never ever been sanctioned.
“In the interest of equity, fairness and balance, Senator Abaribe should be immediately arrested and remanded in prison too, until Kanu is turned in or he turns himself in. Both Ndume and Abaribe are senators of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and therefore, Abaribe cannot be said to be higher in status as both are lawmakers by the grace of our national constitution and the votes of their constituents.”
Coalition of Northern Groups spokesman, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, added: “The evidence of bias is apparent in the order for Ndume’s detention while Senator Abaribe, former deputy senate president Ike Ekweremadu and others who stood bail for Kanu, who was standing trial for treason, were not ordered to forfeit the bail terms.”
However, Massob’s leader, Uche Madu condemned the AYCF, saying it was always a willing tool of destruction in the hands of its leaders. He added: “Maina was being charged over allegations of corruption and looting public funds when he was the chairman of the defunct National Pension Task Team.
“He was also accused of laundering money meant for aged pensioners, he can, therefore, never be compared with Nnamdi Kanu of Ipob. Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe’s surety for Nnamdi Kanu was a unanimous decision of Ndigbo, it was not a personal venture.
“The treasonable and felonious court case against Nnamdi Kanu is closed because the Nigerian government knows it has no evidence against him, therefore, any attempt to arrest Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe will be resisted by Ndigbo. Massob will never allow Arewa people to play the hypocritical game of pulling down the best leaders of Ndigbo in the name of politics.