Nnamdi Kanu rearrested, remanded in DSS custody

The embattled leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, has been rearrested after a collaborative effort between Nigerian security officials and the international police, Interpol. Kanu was arrested on treason charges and was brought before the Federal High Court in Abuja on Tuesday.

Nnamdi Kanu in court on Tuesday, July 29, 2021

In a press briefing, Attorney general Abubakar Salami said that Kanu was arrested for "engaging in subversive activities" and "for inciting violence through television, radio and online broadcast against the Nigerian state". Salami further stated that "Kanu was also accused of instigating violence especially in [the] south eastern [part of] Nigeria that resulted in the loss of lives and property of civilians, military, paramilitary". Kanu's actions, Salami added, also led to the "destruction of civil institutions and symbols of civil authorities". The 54-year-old separatist leader was first arrested in October 2015 and was jailed until April 2017, when he was granted bail. However, a federal judge, Binta Nyako, revoked his bail for repeatedly failing to appear in court and refusing to adhere to the bail conditions. 

Nnamdi Kanu in court on Tuesday, July 29, 2021

Before his rearrest, Kanu operated the Biafran radio station "Radio Biafra" from hiding and continued his activism for Biafra via his Twitter account. On June 5, the micro-blogging platform deleted one of his tweets, threatening that "any army they [the Nigerian government] send to #Biafraland will die there". Twitter was banned in Nigeria a few days after it took a similar action on Buhari's account.

In 2017, authorities described Biafran agitators as secessionists following violent protests in the country's southeastern part. IPOB was later proscribed and declared a "terrorist group".

Nnamdi Kanu in court on Tuesday, July 29, 2021

Nnamdi Kanu remanded in DSS custody.

The federal high court in Abuja remanded Nnamdi Kanu in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS) during his first reappearance in court. The sitting judge, Binta Nyako, adjourned the case till July 26. Kanu was reportedly blindfolded during his hearing in court. The IPOB leader secretly fled from Nigeria in 2017 and has been on the run ever since. The founder of Sahara Reporters, Omoyele Sowore, who was present at Kanu's hearing, claimed that the fugitive leader was kidnapped. "Nnamdi Kanu wasn’t arrested in the UK, hence there was no extradition hearing. Suspicion is that he was kidnapped by one of the neighbouring banana republics and transferred to Nigerian authorities", Sowore posted on his Facebook account. A representative for the British High Commission also confirmed to TheCable that Kanu was not picked up in the UK. 

Editors Note: HotNaija previously reported that Nnamdi Kanu was extradited from the UK, however, British officials have confirmed that he was not arrested in the country. Hence, we have corrected this story to reflect that fact. We apologize for the error.
John Paul

John Paul is a senior editor at HotNaija. twitter

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