Facts about NNAMDI KANU

Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) leader Nnamdi Kanu is seen with his counsel at the Federal high court Abuja, Nigeria January 20, 2016. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde - RTX237UG

nnamdi kanu handcuffsNwannekaenyi “Nnamdi” Kenny Okwu Kanu (born 1970s) is a political activist based in the United Kingdom. He is a leading member of one of several Biafran separatist organizations, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), and the director of London-based radio station Ra#dio Biafra. His watchwords are truth is life, whiter than snow#

Biography

Early life

Kanu was born in Isiama Afara, Abia State, Nigeria. His father is HRM Eze Israel Okwu Kanu (JP) and his mother is Ugoeze Nnenne Kanu, He attended Library Avenue Primary School (now part of Government House, Umuahia) and went to Government College for his secondary education. He later gained admission to the University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN), where he could not finish due to incessant strikes before he left for London to complete his tertiary education.

Arrest

On October 18, 2015, it was reported that Mr. Kanu had been arrested in Lagos State by Nigeria’s secret police the Department of State Services (DSS). Mr. Kanu had told his solicitors that he was, on 14th October, 2015, arrested by the agents of the Federal Government of Nigeria, the State Security Service (SSS) in his hotel room i.e. Golden Tulip Essential Hotel Ikeja, Lagos State. The solicitors in a press briefing said, between 14th and 17th October, 2015 their client’s whereabouts were unknown until 18th of October, 2015, when the Press Media broke the news of his arrest and detention by the SSS in Abuja. The news of the arrest of Mr Kanu generated mass protests across parts of Delta State, Enugu State, Rivers State, Cross River State, Abia State, Imo State, Akwa Ibom State and Anambra State.

Continued detention

Nnamdi-Kanu-in-court-02On October 19, 2015, it was reported that Mr Kanu had been granted bail after a secret arraignment at Magistrate Court,Wuse 11. However, the bail seemed “controversial” and there were claims the DSS announced the bail only “to calm the angry people of Biafra”. Although the bail conditions were stringent some of which required the Certificate of Occupancy of a landed property within Abuja municipality, a level 16 officer in the Ministry, Mr Kanu’s lawyer said they eventually met the requirements in full. However, “upon the issuance of the Form 36,the court ordeal went to execute the order but came back unsuccessful. He was unable to produce the prisoner.[10] The lawyer, Vincent Obetta, called the continued detention of the activist despite meeting his bail conditions “a clash between judiciary and executive” in a democratic Nigeria. According to Mr. Obetta, “I have not seen or heard any place where a court grants bail and the person is not released. Under UN and Africa charter, it is enshrined that once bail is granted, you release the person upon meeting the bail conditions. We are sliding to days of Decree 2 and 4 of 1984. This is pure Dictatorship.”

A Conservative minister said the British consular officials will visit Mr. Kanu following enquiry from the activist’s constituency MP, Harriet Harman. James Duddridge, Minister for Africa and the Caribbean confirmed that Kanu, had been visited earlier by members of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office but that he did not ask for British consular assistance.:

Court jurisdiction

The Magistrate Court 1 sitting in Abuja on November 18, 2015 ordered the Department of State Services (DSS) to produce Kanu, at the court on November 23, 2015.However, it was reported the Department of State Services (DSS) obtained a “secret court order to detain Nnamdi Kanu. Kanu’s lawyer, Mr. Obetta in an interview said whilst “in court, the prosecutor gave him a document containing a court order permitting the Department of State Services (DSS) to detain Mr. Kanu for the next three months to “conclude what they said was an investigation of terrorism and terrorism financing”.

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