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Tag Archives: Nnamdi Kanu

Again, Court asks sureties to produce Nnamdi Kanu or go to prison

The Federal High Court in Abuja has asked the prosecution to issue an enrolled order for the appearance before it of three sureties in the trial of leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu.

Mr. Kanu, who is facing trial for alleged treason, was required to be produced in court by his sureties. He has not been seen after since September 2017.

Justice Binta Nyako had asked the sureties to either explain why their N100 million bond should not be forfeited, produce the defendant or be remanded in prison.

Although the court repeatedly made the order, the prosecution was yet to serve the defence counsel with the court summons on the matter.

Mrs. Nyako adjourned the case for the sureties to respond to the demand by the court.

At the resumption of the matter, however, a counsel for the sureties, Chukwuma_Machukwu Umeh, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, said his client had not been served with court papers relating to the order made by the judge.

He therefore made a fresh application for an order of court demanding that the prosecution serves the sureties with copies of the order, as made by the court.

Mr. Umeh argued that responding to the verbal order could render the entire process legally defective.

The other lawyers in the defence team aligned themselves with Mr. Umeh’s application.

 

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”.

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.

Sureties to lose N300m over Nnamdi Kanu’s disappearance

 

Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) leader, Nnamdi Kanu became legally a fugitive as he was conspicuously absent in court when his trial resumed in Abuja today.

Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court, Abuja, who earlier gave the secessionist campaigner bail has fixed November.20 for his sureties to produce him.

One of the sureties is Sen. Enyinnaya Abaribe. Others are Immanuel Madu and Torchokwu Uchendu.

Nyako gave the order on Tuesday when Mr Ifeanyi Ejiofor, counsel to Kanu, told the court he could not explain the whereabouts of his client.

Kanu, whose bail was perfected by the voluntary endorsement of the three sureties failed to appear in court to stand his trial.

Nyako said the sureties’ failure to produce Kanu would compel the court to invoke the forfeiture of their N100 million bail bond each.

“The trial of Kanu and his co-defendants was fixed for October 17, but reports from both the prosecuting and defendant’s counsel show that Kanu is absent.

“The sureties that helped to perfect his bail conditions are solely accountable for his presence for trial. These sureties are therefore, given time to produce him for trial.

“In the event that they are unable to produce him, the court shall go on to invoke the remaining options left to it,’’ she said.

Earlier, Mr Mohammed Labaran, the prosecuting counsel had moved an application praying the court to grant a bench warrant for Kanu’s arrest.

He said the defendant had flouted all the bail conditions spelt out for him by the court.

The counsel to Kanu, Ejiofor objected to such application, adding that he had filed a suit against the Chief of Army Staff on the whereabouts of Kanu.

Ejiofor had claimed that the military’s invasion of his client’s home on July 11 led to his disappearance, adding that the military was in the best position to disclose the whereabouts of Kanu.

Similarly, Mr Ogechi Ogbonna, counsel to Abaribe moved a motion seeking court’s approval for the withdrawal of his client’s consent as Kanu’s surety.

Ogbonna said his client was not in a position to tell the whereabouts of the defendant at the moment.

He further said Abaribe was no longer interested in offering his consent to serve as Kanu’s surety in view of recent happenings.

The judge, therefore, gave Ogbonna options ranging from automatic forfeiture of his client’s N100 million bail bond to being given time within which to search for Kanu.

Ogbonna, having received the hint of the court, selected the latter option.

Chidiebere Onwudiwe, Benjamin Madubugwu and David Nwawuisi are standing trial along with Kanu on  a five-count charge of conspiracy to commit treasonable felony and publication of defamatory materials.

Nnamdi Kanu’s whereabouts unknown as trial resumes today

Will Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) be in court today for his trial?

Nobody could give the answer to this question last night.

Kanu has not been seen since September 24 when some security agents entered his Afaraukwu, Umuahia home.

He is facing treason charges along with some members of his group.

Only Kanu was granted bail on health grounds with Senator Enyinaya Abaribe as one of his sureties.

Kanu’s 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 (today).”

Justice ministry spokesman Salihu Othman Isah said whether the trial would go ahead would depend on Kanu’s appearance and the judge.

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

Kanu was first arrested in October 2015 and held in custody until April.

While Kanu’s brother Emmanuel, claims he was taken away by troops, the military has said its men did not arrest Kanu.

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

But a former Abia State Governor Orji Uzor Kalu, said in an interview that Kanu has eloped to the United Kingdom through Malaysia.

That comment attracted criticism from IPOB and its sympathizers.

The federal government declared IPOB a “terrorist organisation” after clashes between the security forces and IPOB supporters.

Members of the group were accused of attacking military checkpoints in Umuahia.

There was also violence on Aba Road in Port Harcourt, and in Aba where a police post was burnt and a policeman killed by suspected IPOB members.

 

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.”

I don’t know Kanu’s whereabouts, says Abia governor

Abia State Governor Okezie Ikpeazu said yesterday he is unaware of the whereabouts of leader of Indigenous People of Biafra Nnamdi Kanu.

Kanu is scheduled to appear in court tomorrow for his case but he has not been seen since September 24 when military men entered his compound. In Afaraukwu, Umuahia.

Members of his outlawed organization are claiming that the military too him away a claim that has been denied.

Foremr Abia State Governor Orji Uzor Kalu, said he was reliably told that Kanu had eloped to London through Malaysia.

Speaking to reporters in Abuja at the weekend, Ikpeazu said: “I don’t think that is a fair question. I don’t have the capacity to determine where Kanu is. I have never visited him. I have never called him on phone and he has never taken me into confidence as to what he does, where he goes. So, those who are close to him would answer. I don’t have capacity to monitor him to know where he is, maybe journalists, through investigative journalism will know.

He expressed concerns that some sections in the country cannot trust the Igbo in the South East to occupy certain strategic positions in the country.

According to him, this feeling of distrust was unfounded, stressing that the Igbo have sufficiently demonstrated love and faith in the corporate existence of Nigeria more than any other ethnic group.

Tracing the roots of the pervasive misgivings towards the South East to the civil war experiences, Ikpeazu said the Igbo have since put the nasty experiences behind them by registering their presence in every part of the country.

“The post war experience is that everybody started receding and then we started moving everywhere. Then at the end of the day, our people are beginning to feel that we are not being trusted enough with certain strategic positions despite the fact that we have demonstrated in particular times that we love Nigeria more than anybody, we have faith in this country more than anybody,” the governor said.

Ikpeazu said the agitations are mainly fueled by inequalities and feelings of unfair treatments.

The governor said, “Fundamentally speaking, I think that if the questions we ask in this country today are whether there are inequalities, there are gaps, there are people who don’t feel that they have been fairly treated, either as an individual or as a family or as a geopolitical zone, the answer is yes.

“There is agitation in the North East, there is a agitation in the South West and of course there is agitation in the South South. But I dare say that there is no other ethnic group in this country that has as much faith in Nigeria as a country, one united country than the people of the South East.

“That is why they are in Sambisa. You can count how many big businesses belonging to the South Westerners that are in Aba. You can count how many big businesses belonging to the people from the North East, North West, North Central that you can find in Owerri. You cannot find a four storey building belonging to somebody from the North East anywhere in the South East.

“But if you go to Kano, you don’t count three hotels before you count that of somebody from the South East. What it means is that we are the people that have demonstrated faith in a united Nigeria”.

He traced the creation of IPOB to bottled up discontents among a section of the youths in the Southeast.

Ikpeazu revealed that Igbo political and cultural leaders had to intervene at this point and that they engaged Kanu through the Ohanaeze and the South East governors.

This, according to him, was for the purposes of exploring alternative approach to the agitation through intellectual presentations with the view to confronting the Federal Government with sound arguments.“

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.