IPOB leader Nnamdi Kanu remanded in DSS custody in 1st court appearance in 4 years

Kanu's trial will resume before the court in July.

Nnamdi Kanu

The leader of separatist group, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), was re-arrested on Sunday, June 27, 2021, and brought back to Nigeria, according to the Federal Government.

He was promptly re-arraigned on Tuesday, June 29 before the Federal High Court in Abuja where Justice Binta Nyako granted a request for him to be remanded in DSS custody until July 26 when his trial will resume.

It was the same judge who granted him bail on health grounds in April 2017 while he was on trial.

Charges against him include terrorism, treasonable felony, managing an unlawful society, publication of defamatory matter, illegal possession of firearms, improper importation of goods, and others.

The 54-year-old disappeared from the public space in September 2017 after an alleged attack by military troops on his father's compound in Abia State.

He missed numerous court dates, leading to a revocation of his bail, and an order for his arrest.

He was not seen in public for another year until he resurfaced while praying at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem in October 2018.

Kanu, who appeared without legal representation on Tuesday, told the court that he escaped Nigeria so that he would not be killed by security operatives who invaded his family home.

"My lord, my house was invaded and people were killed. I would have been killed too if I had not hid myself. That was why I have been unable to attend court.

"I would have been killed the way others were killed when my house was invaded," he said.

His court appearance took place moments after the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami, announced at a media briefing that international collaborative efforts led to his arrest.

IPOB was declared a terrorist organisation in the wake of his 2017 disappearance, but the group has carried on with its agitation and went further to launch a paramilitary wing.

The Eastern Security Network (ESN) has repeatedly been linked by authorities to a spate of recent attacks on security agencies, attacks that have left dozens of operatives dead.

Malami on Tuesday accused Kanu of instigating many of those killings and other violent acts in the south east using his media broadcasts.

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