Years after jumping bail, leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, has been arrested and held in detention by the Department of State Services (DSS).
The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, had earlier announced at a press conference in Abuja on Tuesday, the arrest of the self acclaimed leader of IPOB.
He disclosed that Nnamdi Kanu was arrested on Sunday.
During the arraignment of Kanu in the court on Tuesday, Justice Binta Murtala Nyako immediately ordered the detention of the IPOB leader in DSS custody.
Nyako ordered the DSS to inform Kanu’s lawyers of his detention and adjourned the case to July 26, 2021.
For years, Kanu had a running battle with the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, over his quest for the secession of the South-East geopolitical zone.
Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, recently also said Kanu used social media platform Twitter to “destabilise Nigeria”.
Dissatisfaction over the Nigerian State and the quest for sovereignty had led the late Biafran leader, Colonel Chukwuemeka Ojukwu, to declare the exit of the Republic of Biafra from Nigeria in May 1967. The Biafran territory essentially comprised the South-East region of Nigeria.
The declaration led to a civil war that lasted two and half years as the Nigerian State under the then Head of State, Yakubu Gowon, battled to unify the soul of the country using state powers and military might.
The war ended in January 1970 with the South-East region back in Nigeria but the civil war left a ghoulish imprint on the Nigerian history with squalid tales of deaths, blood, hunger, horror, sorrow and more deaths.
However, decades later, secessionist agitations resurfaced in the South-East. The agitation, this time, is being championed by Nnamdi Kanu.
The Buhari administration had in September 2017 outlawed IPOB and declared that the activities of the group constituted an act of terrorism and illegality.
Before then, Kanu was arrested and jailed but was later released from the Kuje Prison in Abuja after meeting bail conditions. The IPOB leader later fled the country and operated from overseas before he was reportedly captured on Sunday.
IPOB had also formed the Eastern Security Network but the security outfit has no backing of the governors of the South-East. It has, therefore, been at loggerheads with state-authorised security agencies like the police and the army.
The police have also accused IPOB’s ESN operatives of being the masterminds of attacks on police stations, prisons and symbols of democracy in the zone.