Reactions continue to trail the arrest of Nnamdi Kanu, leader of Indigenous People of Biafra separatist group. He was apprehended outside the shores of Nigeria on 27th June, 2021 according to the Attorney-General of the Federation, Malami. The place where they caught him is yet to be disclosed.
Following the announcement, the British High Commission through its spokesperson, Dean Hurlock confirmed to The Cable that he was not arrested in the UK contrary to the rumors being peddled with respect to the location of the arrest. He said – “We can confirm that Nnamdi Kanu was not arrested in the UK for extradition purposes”.
He has since been rearraigned before Justice Binta Nyako who granted the FG’s request for the continuation of trial to be brought forward. Emmanuel, his brother had earlier called on them to insist upon his release, citing that the extradition contravened relevant international laws. He also disclosed that his brother was abducted from Kenya. Reacting to the news, human rights activist, Reno Omokri took to his Facebook page to say –
“I just spoke with a top UK government source. Nnamdi Kanu was not arrested or extradited by the British. According to this official, Kanu was “almost definitely arrested in KENYA” and “it was an illegal detention”. I won’t reveal my source, but I have him on record.”
Reacting to the accusation against them about their complicity in the extradition of the IPOB leader, Kenyan authorities dismissed the claim. On their part, Arewa Elders told the FG that Kanu enjoys the support of international arms dealers, urging them to handle the case with care. They said –
“He also enjoys the support of international arms dealers who know that he has the capacity to cause a war to break out in Africa’s most populous country and biggest economy.” Speaking further, they restated that he must be made to understand Nigeria is not a failed country. However, Coalition of Northern Groups [CNG] who earlier beckoned on Buhari to conduct a referendum maintained their stance, adding that the arrest changes nothing.
While addressing journalists in Abuja, Pastor Kumuyi of Deeper Life Bible Church Worldwide stated that everyone has a right to freedom of speech. He called on the government to focus on addressing the root cause of the agitations which he said is deeply rooted in “injustice”.
In their reaction, IPOB said their leader deserves justice and fair hearing. They also called on their members to be resolute and stand behind their leader. They stated that even though he is incarcerated at the moment, the struggle for the realization of the Biafran dream continues.
Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro, Secretary-General of a faction of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide [an apex Igbo socio-cultural group] said the re-arrest will spell the end of the violence currently pervading the South East region.
Before he found himself in similar circumstances faced by his fellow secessionist comrade, Sunday Igboho said the apprehension is not going to deter his zeal for the actualization of Oduduwa nation. He made this known through his media aide, Olayomi Koiki. He confirmed that the rally scheduled for July 3rd, 2021 in Lagos will go on.
However, that was not to be. His residence was raided by the DSS afterwards. According to the DSS, they were tipped off that he was stockpiling arms and acted on the intelligence. They said –
“On approach to the residence, the team came under heavy gun attack by nine men, suspected to be Igboho’s guards. Six of them were armed with AK-47 guns and three others, with pump-action rifles.” He escaped before they could catch him and the State Security outfit declared him wanted after that. They have also urged him to come in or face the full wrath of the law. Even though the protest went ahead as planned, it witnessed a low turnout on Saturday.
Following the declaration, some of his kinsmen like Olowu, Chairman Supreme Council of Owu Obas, Hameed Makama has advised that he should hand himself over to DSS. It remains to be seen if he will oblige the request.