Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), has been re-arrested and brought back to Nigeria to face his trial, says Nigeria’s Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami.
Mr Kanu and his co-defendant are facing treasonable felony charges at the Federal High Court in Abuja.
Confirmation of Kanu’s Re-Arrest
Eric Ikhilae, a reporter with the Nation newspaper, said he saw a hooded Kanu brought into the court by security agents.
Meanwhile, an IPOB spokesman said the arrest has not been confirmed.
At a joint press briefing earlier today, June 29, with the State Security Service (SSS) in Abuja, Mr. Malami disclosed that Mr. Kanu was arrested on Sunday, June 27 through collaborative efforts of the and Nigerian intelligent agencies, and repatriated to Nigeria.
The Story of Kanu’s Charges and Arrests
Some sources say that Mr. Kanu may have sneeked into the country and then, apprehended at the entry point. However, if the INTERPOL was involved in his apprehensionas claimed, then there is a possibility that he was arrested outside the Nigeria.
The Government is yet to give details on how and where he was arrested.
Mr. Nnamdi Kanu is said to be a British citizen and may have been operating from the UK. If this is true, then his arrest came as a surprise knowing full well the processes involved in arresting a British citizen.
Mr Kanu fled the country in September 2017 after an invasion of his home by the military in Afara-Ukwu, Abia State.
“He has been brought back to Nigeria, in order to continue facing trial after disappearing, while on bail regarding 11 count charge against him, said Mr. Malami.
Prior to the recent arrest made, it was reported that he was arrested on October 14, 2015 on 11-count charge bordering on terrorism, treasonable felony, sponsorship of unlawful society, illegal possession of firearms and improper importation of goods, and so on.
The Nigerian government obtained a court order on September 20, 2017, to designate IPOB a terrorist group and to proscribe it.
Mr Malami recalled a judge (Binta Nyako) at the Federal High Court, Abuja, had on March 28, 2019, revoked Mr Kanu’s bail that was granted him on health grounds and issued a bench warrant for his arrest on the same date.
“He has, upon jumping bail, been accused of engaging in subversive activities that include inciting violence through television, radio and online broadcasts against the Nigerian state and institutions.,” he added.
The minister also said “Kanu was also accused of instigating violence especially in Southeastern Nigeria that resulted in the loss of lives and property of civilians, military, para-military, police forces and destruction of civil institutions and symbols of authorities.”
Kanu’s Previous Jail Time
Kanu spent two years in jail fighting charges of criminal conspiracy and belonging to an illegal organisation, but disappeared after he was released on bail in April 2017.
Since then, Kanu’s whereabouts have been unclear, but the government has blamed his social media posts for rising violence and a spate of attacks across southeastern Nigeria. Information Minister Lai Mohammed cited Kanu’s posts as a factor in the government’s decision to suspend Twitter earlier this month.
Sources: Premium Times; Reuters; AIT