Nnamdi Kanu speaks on attacks, killings in South-east


Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), has accused those delaying an appeal against him at the Supreme Court of being responsible for the rising insecurity in the South-east, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, the lead counsel for IPOB, said on Tuesday.

The lawyer, in a Facebook post, said Mr Kanu stated this when he (Ejiofor) and other members of Mr Kanu’s legal team visited the IPOB leader at the facility of the State Security Service (SSS), on Monday, in Abuja.

Mr Kanu, who is facing a terrorism trial, was granted bail in April 2017. He fled the country after an invasion of his home in Afara-Ukwu, near Umuahia, Abia State, by the Nigerian military in September 2017.

He was re-arrested in Kenya and brought back to Nigeria in June 2021, about four years after he fled the country.

The Court of Appeal, Abuja, on 13 October, held that the IPOB leader was extra-ordinarily renditioned to Nigeria and that the action was a flagrant violation of the country’s extradition treaty and also a breach of his fundamental human rights.

The court, therefore, struck out the terrorism charges filed against Mr Kanu by the Nigerian government and ordered his release from the custody of the SSS.

But the government refused to release the IPOB leader, insisting that he (Kanu) could be unavailable in subsequent court proceedings if released and that his release would cause insecurity in the South-east.

The government, through the office of the attorney-general of the federation, appealed the court ruling and subsequently obtained an order from the Supreme Court, staying the execution of the Court of Appeal judgement freeing Mr Kanu.

Mr Ejiofor said the government has “practically abandoned the appeal by their deliberate refusal to file any court process in prosecuting the appeal,” which it filed against the judgment of the Court of Appeal freeing the IPOB leader.

The lawyer said Mr Kanu, whom he calls “Onyendu”, directed him to inform the world that the government, which has “delayed” the hearing of the appeal against the IPOB leader, was “behind the attacks and killings in the South-east”.

“There is the need to let the world know, as directed by Onyendu, that those presently responsible for the delay in assigning a date for the speedy hearing of this appeal before the Apex Court are the same people/institution who are relentlessly funding the criminals’ activities of the soulless elements who are fully paid to destroy our sacred land,” he said, without giving any evidence.

“Otherwise, the expeditious hearing of this appeal will determine the release/freedom of Onyendu, and will leave the criminal elements with no other option than to immediately vacate/desert our land,” Mr Ejiofor stated.

He said the IPOB leader also asked everyone, particularly governments of other countries and institutions, to prevail on the Nigerian judiciary to assign a date for the hearing of the appeal.

Mr Kanu faulted the Court of Appeal for “expeditiously” granting the government’s application for a stay of the execution of its judgment which freed him.

Attacks, killings in South-east

The IPOB leader condemned the recent attacks and killings in the South-east during a controversial five-day sit-at-home in the region, saying those behind the declaration and enforcement of the civil order were “criminals and known enemies of our land”.

Simon Ekpa, a controversial Biafra agitator and leader of the pro-Biafran group, Autopilot IPOB, a faction of the IPOB, declared the sit-at-home via his verified Twitter handle, on 7 December.

Mr Ekpa, who resides in Finland, had warned residents of the region to stay indoors throughout the five days or have themselves to blame if they disobey the order.

It can be recalled how gunmen, said to be enforcing the controversial sit-at-home order in the region, killed some residents, including a police officer, in Imo and Enugu States between Friday and Saturday.

Mr Kanu “deeply commiserated” with those who lost their lives and properties during the attacks, Mr Ejiofor said.

He, however, appreciated his followers for obeying his directive to ignore the sit-at-home order.

He asked residents of the region to “monitor and fish out” from their hideouts, the gunmen enforcing the order in the region.

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