A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, on Tuesday struck out a suit filed against Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, Femi Fani-Kayode and others over the whereabouts of the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu.
The case was struck out by Justice John Tsoho for lacking in diligent prosecution.
The judge held that the plaintiff’s counsel was in court at the last adjourned date, yet, he failed on Tuesday to appear in court or give an explanation for his absence.
“I, therefore, agree with other reasons adduced by the Learned Silk and hereby strike out the suit for want of diligent prosecution,” the judge stated.
When the matter came up on Tuesday, even though all the parties were served including the plaintiff, he neither responded nor appeared in court.
Following the alleged sighting of Kanu by the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem last year, one Mr. Isaiah Agidi Ayugu, had approached the Federal High Court, seeking leave for application of Order of Mandamus, compelling the respondents to immediately investigate the circumstances surrounding the disappearance of Kanu from the country, whereas the Nigerian Army had been accused of abducting, arresting and assassinating him.
The plaintiff also sought an order mandating the respondents to prosecute all that was indicted in aiding Kanu to allegedly evade justice.
More so, Ayugu had sought leave for an order mandating the respondents to investigate and prosecute Abaribe, Fani-Kayode, Ifeanyi Ejiofor and others who worked together to propagate lies that Kanu was arrested by the Nigerian Army.
Respondents in the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1254/2018 include the Inspector General of Police, the Nigerian Police and Department of State Security Service.
In November 2018, both Abaribe and Fani-Kayode had sought to be joined in the suit as interested parties.
The joinder application was granted by Justice Tsoho on January 11.
However, on March 6, the respondents filed a preliminary objection, praying the court to dismiss the suit for constituting an abuse of court process.
Both Abaribe and Fani-Kayode had through their counsel, Chukwuma-Machukwu Ume SAN also asked the court to dismiss the suit on the ground that similar case going on in charge No. FHC/CR/383/2015.
The respondents posited that the suit was hypothetical in nature and did not disclose live issues to be litigated upon and that it tends to engage the court in an academic exercise.
Abaribe is one of the sureties for Kanu and following the raid on Kanu’s village home in September 2017, his whereabouts became unknown.
Consequently, when Abaribe was asked by the court to produce Kanu for the continuation of the trial, he blamed the military for Kanu’s disappearance.