Nigerian Govt Says Arrested Separatist Leader Trailed For 2 Years

Nigerian government says fugitive separatist leader was living a luxurious life before he was nabbed and repatriated to Nigeria.

The Nigerian Government has revealed that Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), was trailed for two years before his eventual re-arrest and repatriation to Nigeria.

Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information and Culture, who spoke to journalists in Lagos,  Southwest Nigeria on Thursday, July 1, 2021, said security intelligence had been following Kanu for more than two years when “he lived a five-star life across several countries.”

“Of course, as we all saw, he was wearing an attire made by Fendi, a luxury Italian fashion brand, when he was arrested,” Mohammed added.

The government had, on Tuesday, said  Kanu was arrested by a collaborative effort between security agencies in Nigeria and the Interpol on Sunday, June 27, 2021.

Kanu was immediately re-arraigned before Justice Binta Nyako who ordered that he be detained in Department of State Services (DSS) custody pending the determination of his suit on July 26.

Kanu is standing charges on terrorism, treasonable felony, unlawful possession of firearms, and management of an unlawful society.

In 2017, he went missing in the middle of a trial instituted at the Federal High Court in Abuja on treason charges.

He founded IPOB  in 2012 and transmitted Radio Biafra, a separatist agitation station, from his Peckham home in the United Kingdom.

‘Kanu has a strong backing’

According to Mohammed, a forensic investigation revealed that the IPOB leader had a strong political network. He said the  government was duty-bound to fish them out.

“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,” he added.

Mixed reactions have trailed Kanu’s re-arrest with some calling for a fair trial while others applauded the government’s action which they argued would de-escalate the security crisis in the southeast. The government has blamed IPOB for recent attacks on its institutions in the region.

The Information Minister said, “It is interesting that many are suddenly calling for a fair trial for Kanu as if he didn’t get one before he decided to jump bail and flee.”

“However, I can assure you that the fair deal that Kanu denied many of the victims of the violence which he willfully instigated through his broadcasts and tweets will not be denied him.”

Nzuko Umunna, a Southeast Nigeria group, however, called on the government to respect Kanu’s right to dignity and ensure his safety while in custody.

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Aishat Babatunde

Aishat Babatunde heads the digital reporting desk. Before joining HumAngle, she worked at Premium Times and Nigerian Tribune. She is a graduate of English from the University of Ibadan.

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