Breaking: At last, FG reveals how IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu, was nabbed

Kanu in chains

The federal government has finally revealed how the leader of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, was trailed and arrested before he was repatriated to Nigeria on Sunday.

Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, who disclosed this while speaking to Journalists said Nigeria’s security intelligence trailed the leader of the proscribed  Mr. Nnamdi Kanu, for two years.

He said, “It will interest Nigerians to know that for over two years, our security and intelligence agencies were on the trail of the proscribed IPOB leader as he lived a five-star life across several countries, travelling on chartered private jets, living in luxury apartments and turning out in designing clothes and shoes. Of course, as we all saw, he was wearing an attire made by Fendi, a luxury Italian fashion brand, when he was arrested.

“We can tell you that the forensic investigation carried out so far has revealed a treasure trove of information on the proscribed IPOB leader and his collaborators,” he stated.

Lai also said the IPOB Leader had strong network, adding that the federal government was duty-bound to fish them out.

“While the investigation continues, we assure you that none of the collaborators, irrespective of their standing in the society, will be spared. They will all face the full wrath of the law for their activities that challenge our nation’s sovereignty and threaten its unity. No one, no matter how highly placed, is bigger than the country.”

For almost four years after he fled the country, the separatist leader piloted the affairs of IPOB from abroad.

He was mostly in the UK from where he runs Radio Biafra, the group’s radio station with which he often engages in fierce monologues preaching his separatist cause.

Following his re-arrest, the federal government took him to the federal high court in Abuja Tuesday where a judge granted the Department of State Services (DSS) order to remand him in their custody until July 26 when his trial will continue.

The Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami, said the IPOB leader was “intercepted through the collaborative efforts of Nigerian intelligence and security services.”

Though he did not state where the separatist leader was arrested, but there had been reports that Kanu was lured to an African country with a promise of cash donations and was then picked up.

Security sources said he was tracked through some IPOB members who were recently arrested following a massive military operation in the Southeast.

However, Kingsley Kanu, brother of Nnamdi Kanu, had said the separatist leader was arrested in Kenya.

In a statement, Kingsley said his brother was detained while visiting Kenya and “handed over to the Nigerian authorities who then flew him to Nigeria.”

Kingsley said Kanu has been “subjected to the most serious violations of international law because of his quest for self-determination. My brother has been subject to extraordinary rendition by Kenya and Nigeria. They have violated the most basic principles of the rule of law. Extraordinary rendition is one of the most serious crimes states can commit. Both Nigeria and Kenya must be held to account. I demand justice for my brother,” he said.

Also, IPOB on Wednesday stated that its leader was “abducted” by the Federal Government, insisting that it would hold the government responsible should anything untoward happen to him. It reaffirmed its commitment to the restoration of Biafra republic, stressing that the arrest and prosecution of Kanu would not end the struggle, even as the group said its members would be mobilised across the globe to attend the next court hearing date on July 26.

Admitting for the first time to the arrest of Kanu in a statement signed by its Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, IPOB promised to provide details of the said “abduction” of its leader by the Nigerian government and her security agencies.

The Minority Leader of the Senate, Enyinnaya Abaribe, has advised the Federal Government to apply caution and strict adherence to the rule of law in handling the issue of Kanu. The Senator, who stood surety for Kanu when he was first arraigned in 2015, said this in a statement by his Media Adviser, Uchenna Awom, on Wednesday.

The Senator also advised the Federal Government to be guided by the provisions of Section 31 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended.

He added that the government should also consider Article 4 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights as it detains and re-arraign Kanu in court for the continuation of his trial.

Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has also urged President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently call his aides and officials to order to avoid causing social upheavals over the re-arrest of the IPOB leader.

Many trials, travails of Nnamdi Kanu

April 28, 2017 — Kanu was released from detention on bail. He was granted bail by Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court, Abuja.

March 28, 2019 — Justice Binta Nyako revoked the bail that was granted to Kanu on health grounds and issued a bench warrant for his arrest.

September 2017 — Kanu disappeared from public radar after his home was raided by the military.

He reportedly fled the country after the invasion of his home in Afara-Ukwu near Umuahia, Abia State, during military’s ‘Operation Python Dance II’ staged to quell agitation for Biafra Republic in September 2017.

September 20, 2017 — The federal government obtained a court order on to designate IPOB a terrorist group and to proscribe it.

February 19, 2018 — The Federal High Court in Abuja ordered that Kanu, be separately tried from the rest of his co-defendants.

He was facing a five-count treasonable felony charge alongside four other pro-Biafra agitators – Chidiebere Onwudiwe, Benjamin Madubugwu, David Nwawuisi and Bright Chimezie.

November 26, 2020 — A Federal High Court in Abuja commenced Kanu’s trial, in his absence. Five prosecution witnesses were provided to testify against Kanu.

January 27, 2021 — The Federal High Court Abuja continued the trial of Kanu. The matter was initially fixed for hearing on Nov. 26, but when it was called, both Kanu and his counsel, Mr Ifeanyi Ejiofor were absent in court.

The notice was served on the federal government’s prosecution team and Ifeanyi Ejiofor, the defendant’s counsel.

June 27, 2021 — The Federal Government in collaboration with security agencies apprehended and brought Kanu back to Nigeria.

July 26, 2021 — The Federal High Court, Abuja, ordered that Kanu, be remanded in the Department of State Service (DSS) facility, pending the trial continuation.

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