Sunday , 18 March 2018
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Tag Archives: IPOB

Nnamdi Kanu, wife spotted in Ghana

Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), has been spotted by security agents in Ghana, according to a report by The Cable.

There has been controversy over the whereabouts of the IPOB leader who was last seen in public in September 2017 before the military launched Operation Python Dance II — apparently to quell the agitation for the breakaway of south-eastern Nigeria.

Since the military raided his home in Aba, Abia state, there has been speculation that he was arrested and might have been killed.

At some point, Orji Uzor Kalu, former governor of Abia state, said Kanu was in London.

His court trial for treason has stalled and Enyinnaya Abaribe, the senator who served as Kanu’s surety when he was granted bail after spending 18 months in detention, has sought to be dischargedfrom the obligation after his disappearance.

However, security sources have suggested that Kanu was ferried to the Niger Delta creeks by militants at the height of Python Dance II, from where he found his way to Ghana by sea.

He is regularly seen at Kenzo Bar and IBG saloon in Accra, disguised in face cap and usually in company with his wife, Uchechi.

Kanu is said to live at an area called Cantonment, also in Accra, at an estate called “Arabella”.

He regularly patronises suya joints in remote parts of the city, according to the sources.

If confirmed, this will lay to rest speculations on the fate of the IPOB leader.

His brother once asked the military to release his “dead body” if he had been killed.

Nnamdi Kanu’s wife speaks on husband’s ‘disappearance’, 2019 election

Wife of the leader of the separatist Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu, says her husband’s disappearance should be the major issue that will dictate discourse as the nation goes to the poll next year.

Uchechi Kanu, speaking in an interview published by BBC on Monday, said the Nigerian government should account for her husband’s whereabouts, else, people will not vote.

“In the next coming election,” she said, “we need to have that in mind that for us to ever be better, we need to stand up.

“Yes, Nnamdi Kanu’s issue should be the number one thing: where is he? You need to provide him; at least tell us where he is. You need to at least do something before you run an election, otherwise we aren’t going to vote.”

Mr. Kanu is wanted by the Nigerian government for alleged treason. He has not been seen in public since September 2017 when the army raised his residence in Abia state.

The army denies knowing his whereabouts.

Mrs. Kanu maintained that the Nigerian Army should tell the world what happened to her husband, saying nobody in his family knows whether he was dead or alive.

When asked how life has been since her husband’s “disappearance”, she became emotional, describing the experience as difficult.

“It is difficult,” she said about raising their child without her husband, adding that the child sometimes says things that break her heart.

“He goes sometime… he says ‘Daddy’, and that kills me more, because I don’t know what to say to him,” she said.

She, however, dismissed the notion that her husband’s action was illegal, saying Mr. Kanu acted within the ambit of the law.

She said, “What makes it illegal? Why? Why should that be treasonous? One asking for self-determination; how’s that a crime? It is not a crime.”

On insinuations that Mr. Kanu kept his family in the safety of Britain and expected other people to die for a cause he could not bring his family in to fight for, Mrs. Kanu said such statements were insensitive, adding that the family has been the worst hit since he disappeared.

“Do they even know what I go through? I can’t even explain,” she said, adding that Mr. Kanu’s immediate family is homeless and suffering too.

“Is that not sacrifice?” she said, adding that such insinuation could only be made by those she called “Typical stupid African person”.

APC will forget state police after election – IPOB

The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has accused the All Progressives Congress (APC) of attempting to deceive Nigerians ahead of the 2019 general election.

In a statement on Sunday, IPOB described the party’s proposition of state police in the country as an “election gimmick”.

A restructuring committee set up by the APC had, among other things, recommended that Nigeria should employ the use of state police.

Although the federal government is yet to adopt the recommendation, IPOB said the party is only trying to buy time with such move.

In the statement sent to media outlets , Emma Powerful, IPOB spokesman, said the idea of state police would be forgotten after the election, just like the “APC did with (its promise of) restructuring”.

“Even the most unintelligent person knows that this state police proposal is a key component, if not the central plank, of the report on restructuring by the APC committee appointed by the presidency,” the statement read.

“It is a calculated fraud designed to buy time and confuse the gullible. It is merely an election gimmick calculated to deflect attention and convey the impression that this is a listening government which is a lie.

“This APC regime promised restructuring before they were elected into power, today they are ardent opponents of restructuring. With this state police gimmick, once you elect them back in 2019 they will become critics of state police. Only the gullible and unintelligent will be taken in by this charade.”

Powerful said had the current administration been sincere about its intentions, “it would have implemented the proposal (of restructuring) immediately rather than merely issuing it as a report to be debated upon”.

He, however, added that IPOB is not interested in “whatever structural reforms” the federal government wishes to undertake “because the key tenet of democracy which is public debate and vote on a crucial matter is conspicuously lacking in their approach and proposal for state police”.

“Our primary interest remains the full restoration of the full sovereignty of the nation of Biafra and nothing more,” he said, adding: “Anything short of a referendum to ascertain the wishes of the people is dead on arrival for us.

“We are democrats by genetic disposition, which means that our belief that power resides with the people is sacrosanct.”

Soldiers chased weapon-laden truck into Kanu’s home, says Buratai

Soldiers chased a truck laden with weapons into a compound said to belong  to the father of fugitive leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Mazi Nnandi Kanu, Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Tukur Buratai has said.

Gen. Buratai said owners of the truck detonated the explosives on the day Kanu was last seen in public.

He said the suspects’ intention was to frustrate the move to arrest them by the troops

Gen, Buratai stated these in a counter-affidavit he filed in reaction to a suit before the Federal High Court in Abuja in Kanu’s name by his lawyer Ifeanyi Ejiofor.

The suit seeks, among others, an order to compel Gen. Buratai, listed as defendant, to produce the IPOB leader, who the plaintiff claimed was in the custody of the military.

IPOB claimed, in the suit filed shortly after Kanu went missing, that the soldiers, who allegedly invaded his father’s house on September 14, took him away.

But, in the counter-affidavit deposed to on his behalf by Col. A.A Yusuf, attached to the COAS’s office at the Army Headquarters, Abuja, Gen. Buratai denied the plaintiff’s claim. He said the soldiers had no contact with Kanu

He said: during “a peaceful movement” which was part of the “Operation Python Dance II” on September 14, some soldiers saw a truck and flagged it down, but the truck and its occupants ran over Army’s barricade and defied soldiers’ order stopping them to be searched.

He said the soldiers pursued the fleeing truck, loaded with arms and ammunition, into a compound.

Buratai said the compound turned out to be the one Kanu later claimed, in the suit, to belong to him and his father.

He said soldiers, who pursued the truck into Kanu’s father’s  house, did not fire any shot but that the occupants of the fleeing truck deliberately ignited the ammunition in the truck.

“It was the legitimate attempt by the officers and men of the Nigerian Army to arrest the fleeing occupants of the truck and impound the truck that precipitated the deliberate igniting of the ammunition in the truck by persons now believed to be IPOB members.

“The act of the IPOB members resulted in sporadic explosions within the said applicant’s compound.

“The applicant (Kanu) is not and has neither being in our custody nor in the custody of any person, officer or institution receiving instruction directly or indirectly from him.

“The applicant was not at any time whatsoever arrested, taken into custody or detained by the Officers and men of the Nigerian Army.

“The officers and men of the Nigerian Army did not have any contact whatsoever or confrontation or any operational engagement with the applicant on September 12 or 14, 20l7 or any other date thereafter, contrary to the  allegations in the affidavit in support of the  application.

“The allegation of invasion of the South-Eastern part of Nigeria by officers and men of the Nigerian Army, especially the applicant’s home and or residence is totally false,” the COAS said.

He added that his men, acting in compliance with “approved Rules of Engagement and Code of Conduct which prohibit any form of human right abuses” did not kill scores of people during the military operation in the South East as alleged in the suit.

“The allegations of firing of live bullets on the applicant’s relatives, killing of scores of persons, wounding and arrest of many, attack and invasion of applicant’s home, barricade at Isialangwa, arrest and torture of civilians by officers and me of the Nigerian Army, as stated by the deponent, are a figment of his imagination as same are not true,” he said.

The case is expected to come up today for hearing before Justice Binta Nyako.

Army arrests IPOB members with anti Anambra election flyers


Army personnel attached to 144 Battalion under 14 Brigade, Ohafia, Abia State have reportedly arrested three members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra ( IPOB ) in Aba, the commercial nerve of the State.

The suspects whose names were Mr. Nwagbougwu Okeke, aged 55yrs, Mr. Chidiebere Nwaoha, aged 35yrs and Mr. John Nwaogazi, aged 50yrs were said to have been arrested by the soldiers on patrol in Aba on Sunday.

Sources within the battalion told our reporter that the IPOB members were arrested Sunday morning around Alaoji Fly Over.

The suspects according to a source said that they were caught distributing flyers and posters with caption “No Election In Anambra State”.

The source said that the suspects and flyers have been handed over to the Department of State Security for continued investigation.

A senior officer at the battalion who craved anonymity said that the 14 Brigade would continue to work in synergy with the police and other sister agencies to flush out criminality and anti social activities within the State.

The officer urged members of the public to inform the army and other security agencies of the activities of criminals and hoodlums in their locality, stressing that they would make criminality unprofitable in the state.

IPOB asks Buhari to stay away from south-east

The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to stay away from Biafraland, else there will be bloodshed.

Buhari is scheduled to visit Ebonyi state on Tuesday, and Anambra the day after.

In a statement sent to TheCable on Monday, Emma Powerful, IPOB spokesman, said: “we (IPOB members) will die with him should he set his foot on the sacred land of Biafra”.

“Tuesday 14th November 2017 will be recorded in history as a very bloody day should that Jubril masquerading as Buhari attempt to land on Biafran soil,” the statement read.

“He is coming to mock us and to urinate on the graves of our 91 brethren his Operation Python Dance killed in Abia State. He is coming to show us that power belongs to the north and people like Nnia Nwodo and Dave Umahi are in charge over their conquered territory and defeated people of Biafra. He has come to tell us we are forever slaves.”

When visited the presidential villa in Abuja last week, he told state house correspondents that the people of the state are “fully prepared” to receive the president.

He said Buhari would commission some projects carried out by his administration during the visit, including roads and flyovers.

The governor had said: “There are quite a lot of projects that we have executed within these past two and the half years. We have three numbers of twin flyovers that are built across the African Tran Sahara Road running from Enugu to Cameroon passing through Ebonyi state, so we have to build three twin flyovers to decongest traffic on that road, each of the twin flyovers is 700-metre length.

“We have completed two and the third one is 80 percent done, Mr President will commission the two. We also have a mall, what we call Ebonyi mall that is modelled after the famous Dubai mall.

“And we intend for the president to lay a foundation stone of that mall which we will like Mr President to commission within the next 12 months.”


FG will produce my client in court today, says Kanu’s lawyer

Ifeanyi Ejiofor, counsel of Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), says he is convinced that the government will produce his client in court on Tuesday.

The IPOB leader, who is facing treason trial, is due to appear at a federal high court in Abuja on Tuesday.

He is being tried alongside three others: David Nwawuisi, Benjamin Madubugwu and Chidiebere Onwudiwe.

Since soldiers raided his Afara-ukwu residence in Umuahia, Abia state, on September 14, Kanu’s whereabouts have been a mystery.

There has been a rumour that the IPOB leader has left the country for the UK – a speculation to which Orji Kalu, former Abia state governor, gave credence.

Kanu’s lawyer had filed an application at a federal high court in Abuja, asking it to order the army to disclose his whereabouts.

But the army denied having him in custody.

Speaking with TheCable on Monday, Ejiofor said he believed the government, which is allegedly holding Kanu, would bring him to court to face his trial on Tuesday.

“We have filed a suit at the court asking the federal government to produce him in court,” he said.

“It is obvious they will bring him to court tomorrow. They are holding him. They know where he is. I am fully convinced they will bring him to court.”

IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu, missing on eve of treason trial


The leader of a pro-Biafran separatist group, Indigenous People of Biafra, has apparently gone missing, prompting speculation as to his whereabouts on the eve of his trial on treason charges.

Nnamdi Kanu has not been seen in public since troops were deployed to Umuahia, Abia State last month.

Kanu, who wants a separate state for the Igbo people who dominated the country’s southeast, has been on bail since April.

He is scheduled to appear in court in Abuja on Tuesday.

His lawyer, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, told AFP: “Only the army can tell us where he is. Either they arrested him or they killed him.

“If he is alive, they should bring him to the court on Tuesday.”

Justice ministry spokesman Salihu Othman Isah said whether the trial goes ahead depends on Kanu’s appearance and the judge.

“I can’t tell you specifically what will happen,” he added.

Kanu’s disappearance has prompted renewed fears of violence in the restive southeast, which remains tense 50 years after a declaration of independence sparked a brutal civil war.

He was first arrested in October 2015 and held in custody until April this year, despite repeated court rulings that he should be released.

In Umuahia, which was once the capital of the self-styled republic of Biafra and where Kanu spent his childhood, the windows of the family home have been blown out.

The ochre walls and the cars parked in front of the building are pitted with bullet holes, according to an AFP correspondent in the city.

Kanu’s younger brother, Prince Emmanuel Kanu, maintains he was at the compound when soldiers attacked it on September 14.

He said 28 people were killed but the army has denied the claim. Neither claim has been verified independently.

“They were so numerous. They started to shoot from 200 metres (650 feet) away,” Prince Emmanuel told AFP by telephone. “People were running for their lives. We had no guns with us.”

Prince Emmanuel said the military was holding his brother in secret. The government has dismissed the claim and said he was “hiding” somewhere.

Nigeria officially declared IPOB a “terrorist organisation” in mid-September after violent clashes between the security forces and IPOB supporters.

Members of the group were accused of attacking military checkpoints in Umuahia, which is the capital of Abia state, and the state’s commercial hub, Aba.

There was also violence in Port Harcourt, which is the capital of the neighbouring state of Rivers and Nigeria’s main oil hub.

Officially, the military said the troop deployment was part of its Operation Python Dance against crime in the region. IPOB said it was designed to curb its activities.

Human rights organisations and analysts believe the authorities’ response has exacerbated tensions in a region where separatist sentiment has never really disappeared.

Many in the southeast say the region’s lack of basic infrastructure and extreme poverty is a “punishment” for what happened in 1967.

The charismatic Kanu, who is in his 50s, knew how to exploit those frustrations. He revived Radio Biafra and used to broadcast calls for independence from his home in London.

Those calls increased after his arrest and sparked repeated demonstrations. Even after his release on bail, he rarely passed up a chance to whip up his crowds of supporters.

Kanu wants a referendum on self-determination and has called for a boycott all forthcoming elections.

Security consultant Don Okereke believes the army overstepped the mark by conducting law enforcement operations in the southeast that were normally the remit of the police.

“(The) Python Dance exercise is an aberration. There’s a high sentiment of distrust,” he said.

The federal government in Abuja has meanwhile opened itself up to the charge of “double standards” with the Biafra question, he added.

On the one hand it is prepared to negotiate with Boko Haram insurgents in the northeast and militants in the Niger delta in the south but not IPOB, Okereke added.

That was a high-risk strategy, he said, adding: “If anything happens to him (Kanu), the reactions are likely to be very violent in the southeast.”

In 2009, a military crackdown on Boko Haram led to the death in custody of its leader, Muhammad Yusuf.

For now, rumours abound about Kanu’s whereabouts. The British mission in Abuja has denied one claim from a former Abia state governor that Kanu was back in London.



President’s absence emboldened Nnamdi Kanu – Aisha Buhari

The wife of the President, Mrs. Aisha Buhari, on Monday said the long absence of President Muhammadu Buhari due to ill-health further emboldened the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu.

Though she did not mention Kanu’s name specifically, Mrs. Buhari said a 40-year-old seized the opportunity of her husband’s absence to create a state within a state.

She spoke at the opening of a two-day stakeholders meeting on Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn Child, Adolescent Health and Nutrition held at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa.

“Going back to the same health issue in Nigeria, as a result of spending several months by the President outside Nigeria, a 40-year-old man who was still living in his father’s house, created a state out of a state and that is a major set back for the country and the health sector did not benefit,” she said.

Army again raids Kanu’s home, seizes ‘technical items’

Soldiers of the Nigerian army on Sunday raided the home of Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

It is the second time Kanu’s house would be raided by security operatives in less than one month. The premises was first raided in September.

According to Prince Emmanuel Kanu, younger brother of the IPOB leader, the soldiers said they were searching for “technical items”.

Prince Emmanuel said the soldiers took with them household items like television sets, generating sets, clothes, among other belongings of the royal family of Afaraukwu Ibeku.

He called on the international community to urge the army to stop raiding his father’s palace and to also account for the whereabouts of the IPOB leader.

A desk officer of Operation Python Dance in charge of Abia state confirmed the raid, saying it was a joint operation with other security agencies.

The desk officer who refused to divulge his name, however, denied that household items were removed from Kanu’s home.

He said “the things removed may be technical items,” adding that “somebody was arrested with weapon in the compound”.

The desk officer said the operation was based on intelligence report received by security agencies.

The intelligence report, he said, suggested that arms were hidden in the compound.

Since the last raid of his house, Kanu’s whereabouts has remained unknown.