ABUJA, June 29 (Reuters) – The leader of a group calling for secession from a part of southeastern Nigeria, formerly Biafra, has been arrested and taken into custody in the capital Abuja to face trial. The Justice Minister said on Tuesday.
Kanu went to court and his case was adjourned until July 26 and 27.
Attorney General and Justice Minister Abubakar Malami told state broadcaster NTA that Kanu was detained on June 27 and “reported” to Nigeria, but he did not say where he came from.
“He was intercepted through the cooperation of Nigerian intelligence and security agencies,” Malami said.
Eric Ikhilae, a reporter for the Nation newspaper, said he saw the hooded Kanu brought to court by security.
Kanu is the leader of the Biafra Indigenous Peoples (IPOB), which the Nigerian military has identified as a terrorist organization.
IPOB Attorney Ifeanyi Ejiofor urged the government to guarantee Kanu’s safety.
“We insist that he is subject to a fair trial/trial. which is a right that is protected by his constitution,” Ejiofor said in a statement posted on Facebook.
IPOB leaders called for secession from the southeastern region that sought secession from Nigeria in 1967 under the name Republic of Biafra. Which triggered a three-year civil war in which more than a million people died. mostly from starvation
Kanu spent two years in prison fighting criminal conspiracy charges and was a member of an illegal organization. But disappeared after he was released on bail in April 2017.
Since then, Kanu’s position has been unclear, but the government has called for incendiary social media posts amid rising violence and attacks in southeastern Nigeria. Information Minister Lai Mohammed cited Kanu’s post as a factor in the government’s decision to suspend Twitter earlier this month.
The platform also deleted a post by President Muhammadu Buhari threatening to punish the IPOB.
in May Police have begun operations in southeastern Nigeria to curb the escalating violence and crime. causing fear of returning to war Read more
Reporting by Felix Onuah, Afolabi Sotunde and Libby George, additional reporting by Tife Owolabi in Yenagoa, writing by Estelle Shirbon, editing by Catherine Evans, Nick Macfie, William Maclean.
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