By Tunde Johnnson. Abuja
Tukur Buratai, Chief of Army Staff has told the Federal High Court, Abuja that Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), is not in the custody of the Nigerian Army.
He also asked the court to dismiss a suit, seeking to compel him to produce Kanu.
Ifeanyi Ejiofor, Kanu’s lawyer, on Thursday brought an application before the court, praying court to order Buratai to produce Kanu dead or alive.
Ejiofor told court that his client was last seen with the Nigerian Army on September 14 and that neither he (Ejiofor) nor Kanu’s family had seen or heard from Kanu since then.
Opposing the motion, however, Buratai through Akinlolu Kehinde, his counsel, told court that Kanu was not and had never been in the custody of the Nigerian Army.
“The Nigerian Army did not at any time arrest or take Kanu into its custody within the period the military operation lasted in the South-East.”
The lawyer argued that there was no document before the court to prove that Kanu was in the custody of the army, noting that the onus was on Kanu to prove that he was taken by the army.
Kehinde urged the court to dismiss the application on the ground that it was laden with speculations, conjecture and assumptions which, he said were not admissible in law.
A counter-affidavit deposed to by A.A. Yusuf, an army Colonel also claimed that the alleged invasion of Kanu’s house during the period of the operation was false.
After hearing arguments from both counsel, Justice Binta Nyako adjourned the matter until Dec. 13 to give her ruling.