Nnamdi Kanu’s Re-Arrest and How He Was Allegedly Blindfolded, Chained, Sneaked Into Abuja Court.
More details have emerged on the arrest and arraignment of the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu.
It was earlier reported that Kanu was arrested in the United Kingdom and brought to the Federal High Court, Abuja by heavy security operatives.
According to the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, SAN, Kanu was arrested and brought to Nigeria on Sunday.
The AGF made the announcement on Tuesday while speaking with journalists.
Malami explained that the arrest followed a collaborative effort between security agencies in Nigeria and the Interpol,
The AGF also said that Kanu would be taken before the Federal High Court in Abuja for the continuation of his trial on charges bordering on terrorism, treasonable felony, unlawful possession of firearms, and management of an unlawful society.
According to reports, the IPOB leader was blindfolded, chained and sneaked into the courtroom by operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS).
Kanu was also spotted in handcuffs with his legs chained
He was hurriedly taken to Court 2 where the presiding judge told the prosecution lawyer, Shuaib Labaran to inform the defence counsel of the new date for the continuation of the trial.
Journalists were prevented from filming Kanu as he was shielded and taken through the back door.
The prosecution applied that Kanu jumped bail and wanted him to be remanded at DSS custody.
The court granted the application.
Justice Muritala Nyanko has adjourned the matter to July 26, 2021.
Reacting to Nnamdi Kanu’s arrest, veteran journalist David Hundeyin wondered why the IPOB leader who is a UK citizen would be arrested.
Hudenyin wrote, “I have to be careful about how I word this, but assuming Nnamdi Kanu was indeed extradited or arrested with international help, I want to know under what legal framework this happened.
“I get that he’s persona non grata in Nigeria, but who gave him up and why? He’s a UK citizen, which also makes him a NATO citizen. Since when do people holding such powerful passports get given up to countries like Nigeria when they are not credibly linked to something that can be legally considered a crime?
“This doesn’t smell right. Because if such countries are now giving people up to the Nigerian government simply because the Nigerian government accused them of xyz without credible evidence, then what does that mean for people living under asylum protection like me? Are we next?”
See how Nigerians are reacting to the arrest below;
Before his arrest, Kanu was said to have engaged the services of a new American lobbying firm to help the group win the support of the U.S. government.
A report by Premium Times states that Kanu is set to spend $750,000, (over N300million at the current official exchange rate of N410 to one U.S. dollar) for the deal which would last for one year.
The lobbying firm, co-owned by Jeffrey Birrel and Alan White, is registered in Washington D.C, the U.S. capital.
The firm is made up of top government officials, lawmakers, policymakers, and opinion leaders, who IPOB is trying to engage on the rightfulness and necessity of its cause.
The agreement between the IPOB leader and the lobbying firm took effect from March 1, 2021.
Kanu had earlier had another similar deal with another U.S.-based lobbying entity, Mercury Public Affairs LLC, which expired months ago.
Under the old contract, IPOB, through Mr Kanu, paid $85,000 per month beginning September 23, 2019, in addition to a $5,000 one-time compliance fee.
In June 2020, the Nigerian government had raised eyebrows at the IPOB leader’s deal which it claimed was aimed at discrediting the country in the U.S. and Europe.
Islamic cleric, Sheikh Gumi had earlier said it is unfair to compare the activities of criminal herdsmen with those of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
Speaking during an interview on Arise TV, Gumi said herdsmen’s crimes weigh significantly lesser than those of IPOB.
According to the Islamic cleric, one “is killing our gallant men” while the other is “kidnapping children to make money and not to kill them”.
In his words, “IPOB is attacking the police, the army, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and other government institutions; killing our men in service,” he said.
”And the herdsmen are kidnapping children not to kill them but to get money; so how can you compare somebody who is killing our gallant men directly to somebody who is kidnapping children to make money and not to kill them. Look, we need some fairness in what we are doing.”
Still speaking, Gumi said Nigeria is fighting a tribal war, and urged farmers across the country to allow herdsmen to protect their forests.
The cleric explained that the federal government is only meant to have interfered with the ongoing tribal war as a mediator and remain neutral.
He noted that even though bandits are committing all sorts of crimes, atrocities have also been committed against them by various tribes across Nigeria.
Gumi said, “What you call banditry, when you cross to the other side, you discover Nigeria is fighting a tribal war and government is supposed to be the mediator, it is supposed to be neutral, it’s not supposed to take sides.
“But the moment government takes side, it becomes part of the conflict. And this is what I saw in Zamfara State, in Niger State and other states.
“This is tribal war going on and the government taking one side.
When you said these bandits are committing atrocities, yes, agree they are committing crimes, they are killing people, they are kidnapping, they are r*ping, they are doing all sorts of atrocities.
“But, have you for once go to their own sides to see all sorts of atrocities that are also committed against them?
“Do you know that an ordinary herdsman is lynched in many towns in Nigeria? We have seen that in Oyo, we have seen that in Anambra, we have seen that in many regions of Nigeria.
“I think there should be well meaning Nigerians that should stay neutral in this tribal war.”
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