By Bala Ibrahim.
Yesterday Tuesday, 29/06/21, the Nigerian government said the leader of Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu, has been arrested by security agencies.
The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, made the disclosure at a joint press briefing with heads of the department of security services, DSS, and the police, saying the arrest was effected on Sunday.
Although Malami did not disclose the cost and precise location of Kanu’s arrest, even though he is widely speculated to be hiding somewhere in Europe, he said he was arrested by the collaborative efforts of the Nigerian intelligence and security services, who brought him back to Nigeria to continue his trial after jumping bail.
This is a pointer to the fact that Kanu was arrested abroad, and undoubtedly at a cost to the national treasury, in terms of manpower, logistics and other miscellaneous expenses.
For security reasons, this article would not delve into how much was spent and how Kanu came to be captured, but would rather pay attention to why Kanu was arrested, starting first with his jumping the bail.
According to Abubakar Malami, an 11-count charge has been brought against him, which include, engaging in subversive activities that involved incitement through television, radio and online broadcasts against Nigeria and state assets institutions. Instigating violence and killings, especially in the South-East, which resulted in the loss of lives of civilians, policemen, military and paramilitary forces and destruction of civil institutions and symbols of authorities.
While the conventional court, before Justice Binta Murtala Nyako in Abuja, had adjourned the case after sending Kanu to detention under the custody of the DSS, his trial is continuing without adjournment at the public court, where yours truly is the presiding judge.
It may interest us to know that Kanu was first arrested in 2015 by the Nigerian government and was granted bail sometimes in 2017 by the same Justice Binta Nyako, who at the time, ordered him not to attend any rally, grant interviews or be in a gathering of more than 10 persons.
She didn’t stop there, she further ordered that Kanu should produce three sureties with N100 million each, who should include a highly respected Jewish leader, since according to her, he claimed Judaism as his religion, a senior and highly placed individual of Igbo extraction, and in the ranking of a senator, while the last is expected to be a respected individual, resident in Abuja with proof of ownership of landed property.
Within hours, Kanu met all those stringent conditions, with Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, the senator representing Abia South, standing among those who took him.
Kanu immediately jumped the bail and disappeared abroad, but Senator Abaribe was not charged to court or taken to prison. He only had a brief chat with the DSS, and proceeded with his regular media defence and promotion of the secessionist agenda of IPOB, which is a proscribed terrorist organisation.
On the other hand, in something very similar, Senator Ali Ndume, the Borno South senator, who stood bail for Abdulrasheed Maina, the former Chairman of Nigeria Pension Reform Taskforce Team, whose case was a 12-count charge of fraud and money laundering, was hurriedly bundled to prison, when Maina disappeared.
Mr. Ndume wasn’t permitted to enjoy his colleague’s treatment, even when fate put him in Mr. Abaribe’s shoes.
The public court and posterity would one day come out with a verdict on that.
In looking at the cause of Kanu’s capture, the public court would look at what Kanu had been doing, alongside what happened to Sen. Ndume but didn’t happen to Sen. Abaribe, throuth the prism of the proverbial phrase of different strokes for different folks.
According to the police, more than 1,800 prisoners are on the run in southeast Nigeria after escaping, when heavily armed gunmen attacked their prison using explosives and rocket-propelled grenades. The police said it believed the banned separatist group, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), was behind the attack in the city of Owerri.
Kanu is the leader of that unknown group of gunmen.
The Owerri Custodial Centre in Imo state was also attacked by unknown gunmen and forcefully released a total of 1,844 inmates in custody. Investigations revealed that the attackers are members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
Kanu is the leader of that group of unknown gunmen.
In recent months, security in the south east region has deteriorated. Several police stations have been attacked since January, with large amounts of ammunition stolen and reports of the IPOB’s paramilitary wing, the Eastern Security Network (ESN), clashing with the military.
Kanu is the leader of those behind the attacks.
In a nationwide broadcast, President Muhammadu Buhari said the attack, in a city near the oil-rich Niger Delta region that is the mainstay of Africa’s top crude exporter and biggest economy, was an “act of terrorism”.
Although the President didn’t say it in black and white, the public court under yours truly, is convicting Kanu of being the TERRORIST here.