IPOB Leader Nnamdi Kanu Arraigned In Abuja

IPOB Leader Nnamdi Kanu

Leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, has been arraigned at the Federal High Court in Abuja, The PUNCH reports.

The PUNCH had earlier reported that the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, announced the arrest of the IPOB leader on Tuesday afternoon.

Malami said Kanu was arrested on Sunday but did not give details of where and how the fleeing IPOB leader was captured.

The AGF accused Kanu of instigating violence in the South-East geopolitical zone using various social media platforms.

Kanu was subsequently brought before the Federal High Court in Abuja on Tuesday where the judge ordered an accelerated hearing in the matter.

Kanu is facing 11 charges including terrorism, treasonable felony, managing an unlawful society, publication of defamatory matter, illegal possession of firearms and improper importation of goods.

The case has been scheduled for July 26 and July 27 2021 for resumption of hearing while Kanu has been remanded with the Department of State Services.

Back story

Dissatisfaction over the Nigerian State and the quest for sovereignty had led the late Biafran leader, Colonel Chukwuemeka Ojukwu, to declare the exit of the Republic of Biafra from Nigeria in May 1967. The Biafran territory essentially comprised the South-East region of Nigeria.

The declaration led to a civil war that lasted two and half years as the Nigerian State under the then Head of State, Yakubu Gowon, battled to unify the soul of the country using state powers and military might.

The war ended in January 1970 with the South-East region back in Nigeria but the civil war left a ghoulish imprint on the Nigerian history with squalid tales of deaths, blood, hunger, horror, sorrow and more deaths.

However, decades later, secessionist agitations resurfaced in the South-East. The agitation, this time, is being championed by Nnamdi Kanu.

‘Like a dot in a circle’

For years, Kanu had a running battle with the regime of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari, over his quest for the secession of the South-East geopolitical zone.

The Buhari regime had in September 2017 outlawed IPOB and declared that the activities of the group constituted an act of terrorism and illegality.

Before then, Kanu was arrested and jailed but released from the Kuje Prison in Abuja after meeting bail conditions. The IPOB leader later jumped bail and fled the country and operated from overseas before he was reportedly captured on Sunday.

Buhari recently described IPOB as a dot in a circle, saying the separatist movement has nowhere to go.

“That IPOB is just like a dot in a circle. Even if they want to exit, they will have no access to anywhere.

“And the way they are spread all over the country, having businesses and properties, I don’t think IPOB knows what they are talking about.

“In any case, we say we’ll talk to them in the language that they understand. We’ll organise the police and the military to pursue them,” Buhari had said.

IPOB had also formed the Eastern Security Network but the security outfit has no backing of the governors of the South-East. It has, therefore, been at loggerheads with state-authorised security agencies like the police and the army.

The police have also accused IPOB’s ESN operatives of being the masterminds of attacks on police stations, prisons and symbols of democracy in the zone.

THE PUNCH

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