Kanu’s Surety, Sen Abaribe Calls 2018 Budget “Fictitious”

The Nigerian Senate was on Tuesday thrown into a noisy session when Senator Eyinnaya Abaribe (PDP, Abia South) said the 2018 budget was “fictitious” and “dead on arrival”.

The Senator made the comment as the Senate opened debate on the 2018 budget presented by President Muhammadu Buhari.

“What we debate usually is the general principles. What are we debating about a document that is totally fictitious?” he said.

His statement prompted the leader of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan (APC, Yobe North), to come under section 53(7) of the senate rule to caution his colleague.

He said, “It shall be out of order to use offensive and inventive language. Mr President, to call a document that the president of the federal republic of Nigeria presented to the National Assembly fictitious is improper and unparliamentary.”

The warning however did not deter Mr. Abaribe as he continued by quoting the leader of the Senate in his speech.

“Mr. President, quoting the Senate leader in his speech,” he said, “the 2018 budget is designed to consolidate on the achievements of the 2016 and the 2017 budgets.

“What was done in 2017 when less than 15% of that budget was released?

Nothing was done. That is why I call it fictitious. I’m very sorry if that is the word he is bothered about. I withdraw the word fictitious and say that this is totally imaginary.

“Because nothing was done in 2017. That is a fact that we all know,” he said.


“Without going into the debate and the specifics, I can also say this: in the leader’s speech, he said ‘there was so much money that was received in 2017 and therefore there’s an estimate of N11 trillion to be gotten…and we know that as at last week, the total receivables that this government got was one-tenth of what was stated publicly.


“(Out of) the budget in 2017 of eight hundred and sixty something billion to be received, what was received was 150 billion. In what sense will the 2018 budget be predicated on an assumption that the facts have already destroyed.


“You are assuming 11 trillion, yet you are getting less than 1 trillion. That is why I said, with all due respect to my colleagues, rather than continuing to this debate that has no basis in reality, we may just continue to beg this government to be very specific in the indication of the assumptions underlined in the budget.

Biafra: Court Orders Senator Abaribe, Others To Produce Nnamdi Kanu

The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has ordered Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe and two other sureties to produce secessionist Nnamdi Kanu who has been on trial for alleged treason.

Justice Binta Nyako also summoned Abaribe to appear in court to explain the whereabouts of Kanu or in the alternative forfeit the bail bond of N100m.

Abaribe alongside Jewish High Chief Priest, Immanuu-El Shalom and a chartered accountant residing in Abuja, Tochukwu Uchendu signed for Kanu’s bond in the sum of N100m each.

The trial judge, on Tuesday gave the order when Mr Ifeanyi Ejiofor, counsel to Kanu told the court he could not decipher the whereabouts of his client.

Kanu, whose bail was perfected by the voluntary endorsement of the three sureties failed to appear in court to stand his trial.

Nyako said the sureties’ failure to produce Kanu would compel the court to invoke the forfeiture of their N100 million bail bond each.

“The trial of Kanu and his co-defendants was fixed for Oct.17, but reports from both the prosecuting and defendant’s counsel show that Kanu is absent.

“The sureties that helped to perfect his bail conditions are solely accountable for his presence for trial. These sureties are therefore, given time to produce him for trial.

“In the event that they are unable to produce him, the court shall go on to invoke the remaining options left to it,’’ she said.

Earlier, Mr Mohammed Labaran, the prosecuting counsel had moved an application praying the court to grant a bench warrant for Kanu’s arrest.

He said the defendant had flouted all the bail conditions spelt out for him by the court.

The counsel to Kanu, Ejiofor objected to such application, adding that he had filed a suit against the Chief of Army Staff on the where about of Kanu.

Ejiofor had claimed that the military’s invasion of his client’s home on July 11 led to his disappearance, adding that the military was in the best position to tell the where about of Kanu.

Similarly, Mr Ogechi Ogbonna, counsel to Abaribe moved a motion seeking court’s approval for the withdrawal of his client’s consent as Kanu’s surety.

Ogbonna said his client was not in a position to tell the where about of the defendant at the moment.

He further said Abaribe was no longer interested in offering his consent to serve as Kanu’s surety in view of recent happenings.

The judge, therefore, gave Ogbonna a list of options ranging from automatic forfeiture of his client’s N100 million bail bond to time within which to still search for Kanu.

Ogbonna, having aptly received the hint of the court, selected the latter option.

Chidiebere Onwudiwe, Benjamin Madubugwu and David Nwawuisi are standing trial on five-count charge of conspiracy to commit treasonable felony, treasonable felony and publication of defamatory materials along Kanu.

The court adjourned until November 20, 2017, a date given to the sureties to produce Kanu in court. (NAN)

Biafra: Discharge Me As Nnamdi Kanu’s Surety, Aberibe Tells Court

A senator representing Abia South, Enyinnaya Abaribe, has requested court to discharge him as surety for Mr. Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

Nnamdi Kanu has conspicuously been missing and his whereabouts unknown to the government, a situation that raised serious concern for Abaribe who is one of his sureties.

Abaribe filed the application in court on Tuesday.

Recall that Abaribe, prior to the raids by the military, said Kanu had always assured him that he would be in court at adjourned dates.

“He was supposed to appear in court on October 17. It was our job as sureties to produce him in court. We have been speaking with him”, Abaribe had said.

“I spoke with him around August 23. I had to invite him to meeting with the South-east Senate caucus in my home at Obingwa, in Abia.

“We discussed and we told him what we felt and where he was going out of bound and we told him to confine himself to the laws of the land.”