The ERRORS OF MISGUIDED RULING/ORDER OF HON. JUSTICES B.F.M NYAKO OF THE FEDERAL HIGH COURT 3 ABUJA ON THE THREE SURETIES OF MAZI NNAMDI KANU.
On the 14th day of November, 2018 before His lordship, Hon. Justice B.F.M NYAKO ordered that the three sureties that took Mazi Nnamdi Kanu on bail should in the interim deposit cash the bail bond in court within two months and after six months of deposition the bond will be forfeited if they failed to produce Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.
Legally speaking, the trial court, Hon. Justice B.F.M NYAKO erred by varying the conditions/terms of the bail while proceedings were still pending on an Order to show cause why the bond on the same bail should not be forfeited. With due respect to my lordship, Hon. Justice B.F.M NYAKO erred in law when my lord ignored the motions/applications challenging the competency of the Order to show cause and other various applications placed before Him on the incidence surrounded the sudden disappearance of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, due to the over zealous Nigerian Army to eliminate him in a very cold war.
Chukwuma Machukwu Ume SAN counsel for the 1st surety (Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe) filed application to this effect. Also F. Chude counsel for the 2nd surety filed its own application, and Alloy Ejimakor counsel for the 3rd surety filed motion challenging the competency of the Order to show cause.
Instead of the court to hear these applications first and decide on their merits rather, the court ignored these applications and descended to make an order of interim forfeiture of the bail bond, thereby varying the conditions/terms of the bail without granting the opportunity of fair hearing to the sureties who were shot behind by the Order.
It is a trite law and also the position of law by virtue of section 36 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) made it mandatory to avail the parties the opportunity to be heard, i.e fair hearing, being very sacrosanct.
Justice must not only be done, but must be seen to have been done, as was held in the recent case of Atuche Vs FRN (2015) 4 NWLR (pt. 1449). The court must ensure that justice is done in its entirety and not allow its self to be used in any form.
With due respect, the trial court abused its jurisdiction by failing to act judiciously and judicially but instead acted arbitrarily. On this note, the said Order must be reviewed in the interest of justice.
(Barrister Michael Nwagbara, for The Transparency Group of Lawyers).