Nigerian separatist leader, Nnamdi Kanu, was located and brought back to Nigeria to face trial for terrorism, Nigeria’s Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, said.Kanu went missing when he failed to appear in court in 2015 and his whereabouts prior to the arrest was unknown. Officials did not disclose where he was apprehended.”He has been brought back to Nigeria in order to continue facing trial after disappearing while on bail regarding 11 count charge against him,” Malami said.Kanu was apprehended on Sunday June 27th, 2021.Nnamdi Kanu appeared in court and his case was adjourned until July 27, a spokesman said.
“Kanu has been intercepted through the collaborative efforts of the Nigerian intelligence and security services,” Malami said.Kanu leads the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), which the Nigerian military has labelled a terrorist organisation. An IPOB spokesman said it could not confirm the arrest.IPOB leaders have called for the secession of the southeastern region which tried to secede from Nigeria in 1967 under the name of Republic of Biafra, triggering a three-year civil war in which more than a million people died, mostly from starvation.
Kanu spent two years in jail fighting charges of criminal conspiracy and belonging to an illegal organisation, but disappeared after he was released on bail in April 2017. Since then, Kanu’s whereabouts have been unclear, but the government has blamed his social media posts for rising violence and a spate of attacks across southeastern Nigeria. He is accused of engaging in subversive activities that include inciting violence through television, radio, and online broadcasts against Nigeria and Nigerian states and institutions. Information Minister Lai Mohammed cited Kanu’s posts as a factor in the government’s decision to suspend Twitter earlier in June.
Author: Ibukun Babatunde