Four years after the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, jumped bail and fled the country, he was yesterday re-arraigned before the Federal High Court in Abuja after his re-arrest by security agents.
Presenting him before the court, counsel to the Federal Government, Shuaib Labaran, said Kanu was arrested through intelligence and collaborative efforts of security agencies. He was, however, silent on where and how Kanu was arrested.
Following Labaran’s ex-parte application, Justice Binta Nyako ordered that Kanu, who was brought to court in handcuffs and hooded before the court’s sitting, be remanded in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS).
He granted an accelerated hearing by bringing the charge pending against him from the earlier adjourned date of October 20 to July 26 and 27.
Speaking when he appeared in court on criminal charges of terrorism and treasonable felony, Kanu said he escaped from Nigeria after his house was unlawfully invaded by security men with his life seriously threatened. The separatist leader alleged that he would have been killed along with others on the day of the invasion if not for the wisdom he applied to jump bail and flee the country.
His reaction was provoked by the Federal Government’s information through its counsel, Labaran, that Kanu jumped bail granted by the court to escape trial by running out of the country.
Labaran had applied to the court for an order to remand Kanu in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS).
The counsel said the request became imperative because lawyers to Kanu were yet to be abreast of his re-arrest.
Arewa elders urged the Federal Government to handle Kanu’s arrest and prosecution with caution. In a statement by the spokesman of Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), Emmanuel Yawe, it said that Kanu should be prosecuted because he is a threat to Nigeria’s stability as a nation, but urged the government to follow the rules of law.
“We know that the man has no respect for the country called Nigeria and has vowed to destroy the country. Sadly, he enjoys collaboration of some Nigerians who for some reasons want the country destroyed. He also enjoys the support of international arms dealers who know that he has the capacity to cause a war to break out in Africa’s most populous country and biggest economy. Given the complex issues involved, we call on the government to handle the matter with care. The best way out is to keep strictly to the rule of law.”