The leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, has been arrested.
Kanu has also been extradited to Nigeria, sources familiar with the matter told The Realm News. The Biafra separatist was secretly shipped back into the country on Sunday, with the authorities hiding him from the media.
The Muhammadu Buhari government has slammed 17 charges on him, one of them being treasonable felony for which he could be sentenced to death if found guilty.
Emma Powerful, IPOB spokesman, denied the news of the arrest while Frank Mba, police spokesman, is yet to respond to media enquiry on whether the police was involved in the development.
Kanu is facing charges bordering on treasonable felony instituted against him at the federal high court in Abuja in response to years of campaign for the independent Republic of Biafra through IPOB.
He was granted bail in April 2017 for health reasons but skipped bail after flouting some of the conditions given to him by the court.
He has also been on the run since then after soldiers raided his father’s residence in Abia state.
IPOB was later declared a terrorist group by the defence headquarters and court after the south-east governors proscribed it.
Despite the court’s insistence on his appearance, the IPOB leader has remained abroad, and once said he jumped bail to pursue the cause of Biafra.
“Their problem is Nnamdi Kanu and the solution to their problem is referendum. They gave me conditional bail to cage me and IPOB but I refused,” he had said during a broadcast.
Owing to his absence in court, Binta Nyako, the judge who granted him bail, revoked it and ordered that he should be arrested.
Kanu, however, dismissed the arrest warrant issued against him and vowed to remain abroad to continue agitating for Biafra.
“The bench warrant against me is merely academic. It will surely be ignored by an international legal and diplomatic order that has voiced its disapproval of what is happening to IPOB in Nigeria,” he had said in one of his broadcasts.
In Kanu’s absence, IPOB went underground and mobilised resources to launch a militant named the Eastern Security Network (ESN).
The emergence of ESN coincided with a spike in attacks against security and government infrastructure in the south-east.
TheCable found out that killings in the south-east tripled after the security outfit was launched — the group denies any wrongdoing.
The secessionist group also forged an alliance with the Ambazonia Governing Council (AGovC), the separatist movement in Southern Cameroon, to exchange weapons and personnel.