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IPOB Leader, Nnamdi Kanu, Not In Military Custody- Army Sources |RN

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IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu

Olaleye Aluko and Tony Okafor

Authoritative sources from the Nigerian Army have said the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, is not in military custody.

The sources, from the army headquarters, Abuja, and the 82 Division headquarters, Enugu State, which coordinates Operation Python Dance II, told one of our correspondents on Thursday that Kanu was not arrested or detained, as being speculated.

Related: IPOB Sues Buratai, Demands Kanu’s Whereabout |The Republican News

Kanu’s lawyers on Wednesday filed a suit before the Federal High Court in Abuja praying for an order, directing the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, to produce Kanu in court.

The lawyers, led by Ifeanyi Ejiofor, had declared Kanu missing, saying the IPOB leader was last seen after the September 14 invasion of his residence in Afara-Ukwu area of Abia State by soldiers.

But an authoritative source from the army headquarters said, “If you follow the trends of things, the army has not been talking about a proscribed group. If someone says he does not know where Kanu is, who gave him the authority to file a motion against the army?

“We don’t want to be drawn into this propaganda. For goodness sake, if we have Kanu, of what use is it if we keep quiet? We have never been secretive. Nobody prompted us before we came out to talk about Egwu Eke II starting in the South-East. Nobody prompted us before we came out to say that despite all the pressures, we were not withdrawing the operation. The exercise is still ongoing.”

Also, the source from 82 Division headquarters, Enugu, who did not want his name in print, replied our correspondent’s enquiry through a text message.

“Kanu is not with us. And I am not aware of his whereabouts,” it read.

But Kanu’s younger brother simply identified as Fine Boy, had on September 17 refused to tell SUNDAY PUNCH where his brother was, adding that only the IPOB leader could disclose his hiding place.

RelatedNnamdi Kanu Is Not In Our Custody, Says Police |The Republican News

He said, “Only my brother can tell Nigerians where he is, I can’t. I don’t know why the Army should call IPOB a terrorist organisation, it is out of their desperation to arrest Nnamdi and frustrate the Biafran struggle. We have petitioned the United Nations and the European Union.

“…Nnamdi will soon disclose his current location and IPOB will also react to the proscription of the group by the South-East Governors’ Forum.”

Soldiers allegedly invaded his house on September 14.

The Director, Army Public Relations, Brig. Gen. Sani Usman, could not be reached for comment as of press time.

Meanwhile, the Chairman of the South-East caucus in the Senate, Enyinnaya Abaribe, who stood as surety for Kanu, has said he should not be held liable if Kanu does not show up on October 17, which is the next hearing.

Abaribe said this on Thursday on a Channels TV programme, Sunrise Daily, noting that the alleged invasion of Kanu’s home in Abia State by troops of the Nigerian Army, was done “18 days before Kanu is to appear in court.”

Some senators had on Tuesday in a closed-door session, reportedly lashed out at Abaribe for accepting to stand as a surety for Kanu and for meeting with the IPOB members, claiming that the senator supported IPOB activities.

Abaribe on Thursday, however, said his meeting with the IPOB members was to find, “lasting peace” to the crisis. The senator said no one could say whether Kanu was dead or alive after the army’s invasion.

RelatedIPOB: Confusion Over Nnamdi Kanu’s Whereabouts |The Republican News

He said, “One of the very unfortunate issues is that when people don’t want to address issues, they abuse or personalise issues. I stood surety for him (Kanu). Put it in perspective; he is supposed to appear in court on October 17. Then one month prior to his appearance, September 14 – clearly one month – the army now invaded his house and his village, and since then, nobody has heard from him.”

Also, IPOB has described President Muhammadu Buhari as a godfather of terrorists.

In a statement in Awka, Anambra State, on Thursday by the Media and Publicity Secretary of the proscribed pro-Biafran group, Emma Powerful, IPOB alleged that  Buhari was a sponsor of several terrorist organisations including Boko Haram.  (Punch)

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Nnamdi Kanu: FG Can’t Hold Abaribe, Others Responsible But Security Forces, Itself

 

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President Muhammadu Buhari,  Nnamdi Kanu

 

The move by the Federal Government to hold Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe and others responsible for the disappearance of Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), may hit a brick wall as legal opinions outside government circles do not seem to support such a plan.
A source conversant with the matter told our correspondent that the preponderance of legal opinions showed that it was the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. T.Y. Buratai, and the Commanders of Operation Python Dance (2) that should be held responsible for Kanu’s disappearance and not anyone else.
According to our source, the Federal Government and its military would have themselves to blame if Kanu remains incommunicado, by October 17, 2017, the date he is expected to appear in court to answer to the charges pending against him.
“The idea of holding sureties responsible for the disappearance of Nnamdi Kanu is not only ridiculous but laughable. It is true that some personalities signed the bail bond that led to his release from prison.
It is also true that Kanu may have violated some of his bail conditions, but that should have been left to the court to decide and then mete the necessary sanctions on him. “The bail bond was the outcome of a judicial process and therefore, a legal instrument of a court of competent jurisdiction.
It is obvious that the court did not envisage that the Federal Government, a party in the dispute, will, at some point, take the laws into its own hands and act in the manner it has done.
“Why did the Federal Government decide to resort to self-help by invading the residence of Kanu with armoured tanks? It is more or less jungle justice to invade the home of an unarmed Nigerian citizen, shooting sporadically at the building and causing unquantifiable collateral damages.
As it is today, neither Kanu’s lawyers nor the sureties have seen Kanu since the military invasion of his home.
“It is only the Federal Government and the military that can tell the world why they preempted the court and decided to take the laws into their own hands. It is because they either wanted to arrest Kanu and detain him ahead of his date in court, or they wanted to kill him using jungle justice. Either way, they cannot eat their cake and have it.
The onus lies on them to produce Kanu when the need arises because they have willfully sidelined the due process of the court in their desperation to achieve political goals.
They can’t eat their cake and still have it,” the source said. Although Abaribe could not be reached on his mobile phone for reactions to the development, his Special Assistant on Media Affairs, Mr Uche Awom, told Sunday Telegraph that his principal and others who stood surety for Kanu did so in good faith and as law abiding citizens of Nigeria.
According to Awom, there was no cause for alarm as the sureties had kept their own side of the bargain before the military threw spanners in the works.  (New Telegraph)
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Nobody Should Dare Make Attempt To Arrest Nnamdi Kanu – Olisa Agbakoba |RN

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Former president of the Nigerian Bar Association, Olisa Agbakoba, has warned the Federal Government not to re-arrest Independent People of Biafra (IPOB) leader, Nnamdi Kanu.

Agbakoba said such a move could have disastrous consequences taking into effect the serious political tension in the country at present.

“I don’t think the call for the re-arrest of Nnamdi Kanu is correct. I think what we need now is to cool the temperature of Nigeria. So, I will suggest that that will not be a right move”.

” There are other ways to deal with the entire issues of insecurity, Biafra agitations and others. To re-arrest will certainly flare up tempers and I don’t see how that is good. The point here is not whether it is lawful or not, sometimes you don’t follow what the law says. That is why sometimes we say the law can be an ass”.

” Everybody in Nigeria knows that the political temperature of Nigeria is very high and there is a lot of political instability. So, any wise leader will do all he can to cool things down”.

“I am sure there are other ways the state can engage Nnamdi Kanu in a dialogue. That needs to be explored. I will suggest dialogue than bringing up the issue of re-arresting” he said.

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Nnamdi Kanu Not In Hiding, Says Brother| The Republican News

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From Okey Sampson, Aba

The younger brother of Nnamdi Kanu, Prince Emma Kanu, has thrown cold water on a story making the rounds that the leader of the Independent People of Biafra (IPOB) had taken cover to avoid being abducted by security agencies. In a telephone chat yesterday evening, Prince Emma said the rumour was unfounded as Mazi Nnamdi Kanu had not done anything wrong to warrant his being arrested, adding that his brother is not afraid of being arrested. He said: “I don’t know from where people get their information.  The truth remains that we have not seen any increased security presence that will make the IPOB leader to take cover.”

Speaking further, he said: “A general does not take cover by merely hearing the sound of a gun. If they like, let them deploy the whole troops in Nigeria to the South East, the IPOB leader won’t be moved as he remains resolute in the agitation.”      (The Sun)

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Biafra: Police Deploy More Officers In SE, SS, Vow To Stop Kanu From Fleeing If Court Revokes Bail

 

 

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Nigeria Mobile Police Force

The police have increased the numerical strength of their personnel in the South-East and South-South zones of the country as part of measures to prevent a breach of the peace, which may result from the activities of Biafran agitators ahead of the upcoming Anambra State governorship election, Saturday PUNCH has learnt.
And apart from the Mobile Police Force operatives, the force told Saturday PUNCH on Friday that it had deployed the Counter-Terrorism unit, the Intelligence unit and other conventional policemen, who would work with the state commands in the South-East and South-South zones.
In addition, top sources in the police told Saturday PUNCH that the security agency had placed the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, under surveillance to prevent him from fleeing the country should the court revoke his bail and order his re-arrest for allegedly flouting his bail conditions.
The Federal Government had last week asked the Federal High Court in Abuja to revoke the bail granted to Kanu, who is being prosecuted along with others on treasonable felony charges.
The government had accused the IPOB leader of flouting his bail conditions and filed an application asking the court to revoke his bail and direct security agencies to re-arrest him.
The prosecution had said that instead of using the opportunity of his bail to attend to his health needs, Kanu had gone ahead to inaugurate a security outfit, known as Biafra Security Service.
The prosecution said this constituted a threat to national security.
But when contacted, the Force Public Relations Officer, Jimoh Moshood, confirmed that the police had deployed more riot policemen in the South-East and South-South regions to avert a breach of security and maintain law and order.
But Moshood did not confirm if Kanu was under surveillance to prevent him from fleeing the country should the court rule in favour of the government, even though, sources in the police maintained that that was the situation.
Moshood said, “We have made additional deployments, particularly in Anambra State, because of the upcoming governorship election and also to other South-East and South-South states to ensure that IPOB did not actualise its threat of stopping the election.
“So also, any pronouncement from the court would be strictly enforced, irrespective of the persons involved. Nobody is above the law so any court pronouncement would be enforced by the police.”
Moshood reiterated that the force was closely monitoring the situation in the South-East.
“We are strictly monitoring the situation for any eventuality from the court since there is an ongoing judicial process,” the police spokesman explained.Moshood said the police would not leave anything to chance while noting that any judicial order in respect of Kanu and other agitators would be enforced immediately.
He added, “We are not leaving anything to chance; we are to ensure there is law and order and any pronouncement from the court would be strictly enforced. We are watching the situation closely. We have made enough deployments and we are going to act appropriately.”
But when asked to give the number of the police operatives deployed for the operation, the Force PRO said it was against the policy of the police to give out the number of the personnel on deployment.
“We have yet to deploy helicopters because the situation is not ripe for it,” he added.
Kanu had, in his application filed on July 1, 2017, urged the court to vary the conditions of the bail granted him on April 25, 2017. But the Federal Government had, in its application filed on August 25, 2017, asked the court to revoke the bail granted Kanu, on the grounds that the IPOB leader had flouted the bail conditions.
It maintained that Kanu had flagrantly violated all the bail conditions, adding that the essence of the bail, which was for Kanu to look after his health, had been defeated.
Attempts to get IPOB’s reaction to the development were not successful as of the time of filing this report.
Calls to the mobile telephone line of the group’s spokesman, Mr Emma Powerful, did not connect and messages sent to him on WhatsApp, which is usually the best way to reach him, were not replied to.
But IPOB had, last weekend, vowed to resist any attempt by the Federal Government to re-arrest Kanu, without first obtaining a court order.
Powerful had said Kanu was prepared to be locked up in his quest to achieve Biafra.
In a statement released then, IPOB said, “IPOB wishes to notify the public about the illegal and undemocratic moves by the Federal Government, led by President Muhammadu Buhari, to re-arrest our leader, who committed no crime known to the laws of the Nigerian state.
“Before Buhari decides to make a move to arrest our leader, he must first go to court to obtain an order or else it will be resisted by millions of IPOB members.”
Reacting to the development, the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra warned the Federal Government not to take the ‘non-violence approach’ of the pro-Biafra agitators for granted.
MASSOB National Director of Information, Samuel Edeson, who spoke to one of our correspondents in Enugu, said the secessionists were not bothered about the deployment of police and security agents to the South-East and South-South regions.
Edeson vowed that ‘Biafrans’ would use all resources at their disposal to resist any attempt to re-arrest Kanu.
He said, “The Inspector General of Police is just trying to please his masters, but we are not bothered.
“The deployment of security agents is just a ploy to clamp down on peaceful agitators who are only seeking self-determination, but it is a plus to the struggle because it shows that the government is jittery. We cannot be intimidated.
“But we want to warn that our nonviolent approach should not be taken for granted. The Nigerian government should not take our peaceful disposition for granted.
“There is a limit to human endurance. President Muhammadu Buhari and the Nigerian government should know that the Biafrans of today are different from the Biafrans of yesterday – a lot has changed and we cannot be taken for granted.
“They are plotting to arrest Nnamdi Kanu, and we are waiting for them. They know they cannot arrest Nnamdi Kanu when they have failed to arrest the Arewa youths, who issued quit notice to Igbo in the North. We will resist any attempt to arrest Nnamdi Kanu. If they try to do that, all Biafrans will use all resources at their disposal to defend Nnamdi Kanu.”  (Punchng.com)

 

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Ohanaeze Rejects FG Move To Revoke Nnamdi Kanu’s Bail |The Republican News

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Chief John Nnia Nwodo

By John Nnia Nwodo
 
Statement of the President General of Ohaneze on move to revoke Nnamdi Kanu’s bail
 
“ATTORNEY-GENERAL OF THE FEDERATION, PLEASE RESPECT YOUR OATH OF OFFICE!!
 
It has just been brought to my notice that the Attorney-General of the Federation has approached the courts to incarcerate Nnamdi Kalu for flouting his bail conditions.
 
I am amazed that the distinguished attorney is prepared to contest the superiority of the provisions of the Constitution on fundamental human rights of freedom of movement and freedom of association over an erroneous judicial proclamation violating those rights.
 
I am equally miffed by the audacity with which the Attorney-General displays his bias without regard to his oath of office.
 
A few hours ago under the watchful eyes of the Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum and in total defiance of the Head of State’s proclamation of the rights of a citizen of Nigeria to live anywhere in Nigeria and to do business anywhere in Nigeria, the Arewa Youths, pretending to withdraw their quit notice gave qualifications to the Head of State’s proclamation, issuing conditions for enjoyment of citizenship status
 
These same Arewa Youths are supposed to have been arrested on the orders of the Governor of Kaduna State and the Inspector General of Police for acts of treason, conversion and sedition. As the Chief law officer of the Federation, the Attorney-General looks the other way. He does not go to court to seek an order of arrest or prosecution.
 
Nnamdi, as a citizen of Nigeria, is free to hold any point of view no matter how displeasing to anyone so long as they are not inciting or provoking any criminal activities.
 
I and some Igbo leaders have differences of opinion with Nnamdi on a number of issues. We have been insulted and abused by Radio Biafra but we concede them their right to differ from us. We concede them their nature to be exuberant as Youths but we cannot be judgmental about their rights.
 
This is a democracy. In democracies, leaders are abused, pelted with rotten eggs and booed at, as the former Edo State Governor was booed in Abuja a few days ago. These acts are not necessarily criminal.
 
I urge the Attorney-General not to exacerbate our already tense nation by commencing a legal action which portrays him as biased, insensitive and misdirected.”
 
CHIEF JOHN NNIA NWODO
 
PRESIDENT-GENERAL
OHANAEZE NDIGBO

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Nnamdi Kanu’s Travail: A Bare Bail Without Liberty, Says Ozekhome (SAN)

By Mike Ozekhome

I congratulate Justice Binta Nyako for being courageous enough to even grant bail at all to IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu, on health grounds. This is predicated on the truism that the Judiciary has been so humiliated, browbeaten, terrorised and emasculated by the Executive that it takes extraordinary courage and daring bravado, for a judge to even grant bail to a much vilified Nnamdi Kanu, whose only “crime” is that he seeks self-determination for his repressed, oppressed, suppressed and marginalised indigenous people of Biafra, a right recognised even by the UN and AU in all self-determination instruments.
The catch here, however, is that in granting the bail, the judge, apparently trying to tread softly, took back with the right hand what she gave with the left hand. Bail is a constitutional right. It is guaranteed by section 35(5) of the 1999 Constitution, with or without conditions attached. But any conditions so attached to bail must be such that the grant of bail is itself not rendered meaningless and impotent, as in the Nnamdi case. Kanu’s bail conditions are outrightly stringent, punitive, discriminatory, profiling and stereotyping. Hear them:
(1)  He must produce 3 sureties, who must deposit the sum of N100m each (a ready recipe for corruption).
(2)  One of the sureties must be a highly respected Jewish leader since Kanu practises Judaism as his religion (discrimination on the basis of religion).
(3)  Produce a highly placed person of Igbo extraction (discrimination on the basis of place of origin and ethnic group).
(4)  Produce a respected person, who resides and owns landed property in Abuja (a call for the elitist money bags).
(5)  Must not attend any rally or grant an interview (breach of freedom of movement and speech).
(6)  Must not be in a crowd exceeding 10 persons (denial of freedom of association).
(7)  Must surrender his Nigerian and British passports (denial of freedom of movement).
(8)  Must sign an undertaking to be available for trial at all times (normal. This is the main purpose of bail).
(9)  His wedding ring and reading glasses to be given back to him (thank God for tokenism).
(10) Must provide monthly update on Kanu’s health (yes, to ensure his health is improving).
Some of the bail conditions are not only troubling, upsetting and punitive, but are simply unconstitutional, as briefly highlighted above.

Section 42(1) of the 1999 Constitution provides that:
“A citizen of Nigeria of a particular community, ethnic group, place of origin, sex, religion or political opinion shall not, by reason only that he is such a person:-

(a) be subjected either expressly by, or in the practical application of, any executive or administrative action of the government, to disabilities or restrictions to which citizens of Nigeria of other communities, ethnic groups, places of origin, sex, religion or political opinions are not made subject to; or

(b) be accorded either expressly by, or in the practical application of, any law in force in Nigeria or any such executive or administrative action, any privilege or advantage that is not accorded to citizens of Nigeria of other communities, ethnic groups, places of origin, sex, religions or political opinions.

(2) No citizen of Nigeria shall be subjected to any disability or deprivation merely by reason of the circumstances of his birth.
It is crystal clear from these constitutional provisions that the stringent bail conditions granted to Nnamdi have clearly discriminated against him and subjected him to “certain disabilities or restriction” on the basis of his religion, place of birth, political opinion and ethnic group.
What the bail conditions are simply saying is that it will be illegal, forbidden and contrary to the bail conditions were Kanu to do the following:
(a) Kanu cannot be received by a multitude of his village people, kindred and kinsmen, who have missed his presence since his mindless incarceration over one and half years ago, contrary to the right to freedom of association granted by section 40 of the 1999 Constitution.
(b) That Kanu cannot express his right to freedom of expression clearly guaranteed by section 39 of the Constitution.
(c) That Kanu cannot exercise his freedom of movement guaranteed by section 41 of the Constitution.
(d) That Kanu cannot receive sympathisers, well-wishers and political associates, once they are more than 10.
(e) That Kanu cannot freely exercise, without being monitored, his freedom of religion and conscience contrary to section 38 of the Nigerian Constitution.
(f) That Kanu cannot, at any given time, even in his household or larger family setting, host more than 10 people (ludicrous; unnatural!).
(g) That Kanu cannot even visit any hospital to take care of his health, because the hospital staff of doctors, nurses, para-medical staff and other patients, must surely exceed 10 (contrary to section 17(3)(c) of the Constitution
(h) That Kanu cannot attend church service or the synagogue worship to glorify God in thanksgiving for his release, since such place of worship will harbour hundreds if not thousands of people (contrary to section 10 and 38 of the Constitution).
(i) That Kanu cannot even go to a busy motor park, airport, seaport, parks and gardens, cinema hall, theatre, to transport himself, watch films or relax, or even go to Shoprite to shop.
(j) That Kanu cannot deliver lectures to students or groups, or participate in seminars, workshops, summits, conferences, etc., as these involve many people.
(k) That by way of summary, Kanu should remain a hermit, marooned like Robinson Crusoe in the 1719 novel of the same name, by Daniel Defoe, who spent over 28 years as a castaway, after he was washed up on the shores of a deserted island, near the mouth of Oronoco River in South America.
Day by day, we subject the Nigerian society to bottomless ridicule and derision in the comity of nations. Bail conditions are simply to ensure the attendance of a person in court, and nothing more. Once excessive or punitive, bail loses its purpose, function and goal.
I urge Nnamdi Kanu’s lawyers to immediately file an application before the same Justice Binta, for variation of the bail terms to more favourable ones that will make Kanu a human being once more. I urge the Nigerian judiciary to stand up “gidigba” to defend the rights of all Nigerians against executive lawlessness, judicial timidity and legislative rascality.
God bless Nigeria and Nigerians.

•Ozekhome (SAN) is a constitutional lawyer and human rights activist.

(The Sun)

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