Was Kanu abducted or arrested? Govt acts coyly

Government remains tit-lipped over whether Nnamdi Kanu was abducted or arrested and forced home to continue with his felony trial.

This is even as the location of his arrest remains a matter of conjecture, with Kenya being speculated as venue.

Legal experts weighed in on the subsequent and widespread use of words ‘arrest’ and ‘extradite’ by lawyers and the media.

Experts consulted by Enugu Metro said arrest and extradition are “terms of art that have specific meanings in law” and that they do not apply to the case.

They pointed out that even Attorney General Abubakar Malami was careful not to use the terms arrest and extradite but resorted to a wooly term, “intercept.”

“We expect lawyers to use the precise term which is ‘extraordinary rendition,’ a fancy term for kidnapping or abduction.,” one said.

The search for venue of the interception continued today as Nairobi, the Kenyan capital, was promoted above Ethiopia.

Enugu Metro reported yesterday that authorities in Ethiopian judiciary dismissed the speculation that Kanu was picked up at Addis Ababa.

Today 30 June, one of Kanu’s brothers mentioned the Kenyan angle, corroborated by an Onitsha-based human rights NGO, Intersociety.

Intersociety gave a graphic picture of Kanu’s movement before his interception, as follows:

“He was arrested on Saturday night of June 26, 2021 in Kenya, a member of the African Union.

“He had travelled to Israel, having transited from Germany to Israel before heading to Kenya, where he was intercepted on Saturday night, 26th June 2021.

“He appeared to have been trapped by some persons of his own tribal stock over some lingering issues.

“His arrest was initially taken to be ‘a minor immigration issue’, which later turned out to be a clear act of ‘strawmen’ and subsequently attracted the involvement of the Nigerian diplomatic officials and security attachés at Nairobi, the country’s capital.

“He was later on Sunday, 27th June 2021 handed over to Nigerian security attaches and diplomatic officials after providing paper evidence that ‘he is being wanted in Nigeria for continuation of his trial where he jumped bail’ and escaped ‘from judicial justice’.”

Several interest groups from the South East and elsewhere have issued statements asking the government to follow legal processes in dealing  with the trial of Mr. Kanu.

Nzuko Umunna, a think tank of Igbo professionals specifically asked the that the Federal government should

  • uphold the fundamental human rights of the detainee
  • Treat Mr. Kanu in line with the treaties and obligations to which Nigeria is a signatory guaranteeing human rights.
  • Ensure that the Judiciary carries out the trial without intimidation.
  • Most importantly, ensure that no harm comes to Mr. Kanu in detention.
  • Reign in those who have threatened his life, so they do not harm him in detention, and
  • Because the matter is political, explore the political options.

The organisation volunteered to assist the government should it prefer to enter a political dispute resolution process.

Anambra Endows Achebe Prize for Nigeria Writing

Anambra State endows N1million annual Chinua Achebe Prize for Nigerian writing, Govermment spokesperson, C. Don Adinuba, has said.

Named the Chinua Achebe Prize for Nigerian Writing, it is to be awarded to the best novel published by a Nigerian writer in each calendar year.

This was announced on the eve of the 40th anniversary of Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) which Achebe co-founded in 1981.

The Prize is to be administered by ANA, Adinuba said in Awka today while speaking to journalists.

The spokesperson said the prize is distinctive from the existing ANA Fiction Prize, ANA Poetry Prize, and ANA Drama Prize.

It will draw entries from distinguished publishers in Nigeria, Africa and the world, he said.

This provides opportunity for the Nigerian Diaspora that rates quite high on the literary front to identify strongly with the home front.

Chinua Achebe blazed a trail in world literature when he published the classic Things Fall Apart on June 17, 1958 at barely 27 years of age.

Anambra endows Achebe Prize
Gov. Willie Obiano of Anambra State

The novel has since been translated to well over 60 languages and ignited a boom in African writing.

The other novels of Achebe are No Longer At Ease, Arrow of God, A Man of the People, and Anthills of the Savannah.

ANA President, Prof. Camilus Uka, of Imo State University commended Governor Obiano for the honour to Achebe.

“It is reassuring that there are top government officials like Chief Obiano who appreciate ideas, letters and culture.”

Professor Uka said that the governor’s gesture has galvanised ANA to consider holding a meeting in Awka to mark the association’s 40th anniversary as it has already done in some Nigerian cities.

How Kanu was arrested; Nigerians speculate wildly

Britain denies alleged London arrest

AG says he was with Nigerian passport

Nigerians speculate wildly on how and where the Nigerian Govt could have arrested separatist leader, Nnamdi Kanu, brought to court today.

Federal Attorney General Abubakar Malami said in a statement today that Kanu was returned to Nigeria to continue with his trial for treasonable felony and 10 other charges.

The social media played up several scenario that claim Kanu was arrested in the UK, Brazil, Czech Republic, Benin, and Ivory Coast.

Kanu, a British national who also holds a Nigerian passport as well, has lived in South London from where he broadcasts on his pirate Radio Biafra.

British officials however told The Guardian of London today that Kanu was not arrested on British soil.

Several persons with links to security agencies however said it is most likely he was picked up in Ethiopia.

But others with sources at the Ethiopian judiciary system said no extradition requests have been made to that country.

Attorney General Abubakar Malami’s statement (see below) did not help matters either. It also did not disclose where Kanu met his Waterloo.

The statement, however, revealed two significant points that show he may not have been picked up in British soil.

Malami said the IPOB leader was “intercepted,” meaning he was probably on transit at the time of arrest.

He also gave details of the travel document he may have used for the journey – a Nigerian passport.

This could mean that Kanu has more than one passport as he was forced to deposit his Nigerian and British passports in an Abuja court at the time of his trial.

Statement by Attorney General Malami

Self-acclaimed leader of the proscribed secessionist Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, has been arrested through the collaborative efforts of Nigerian intelligence and security services.

He has been brought back to Nigeria in order to continue facing trial after disappearing while on bail regarding 11 count charge against him.

Recent steps taken by the Federal Government saw to the interception of the fugitive Kanu on Sunday the 27th day of June, 2021.

Nwannekaenyi Nnamdi Ngozichukwu Okwu-Kanu, born 25th day of September, 1967 at Afaraukwu, Abia State is a holder of Nigerian Passport No. A05136827 first issued 17th October 2013 at FESTAC, Lagos.

It is recalled that Kanu was arrested on 14th October, 2015 on 11-count charge bordering on terrorism, treasonable felony, managing an unlawful society, publication of defamatory matter, illegal possession of firearms and improper importation of goods, among others.

A judge at the Federal High Court, Abuja revoked Kanu’s bail that was granted him on health ground and issued a bench warrant for his arrest on the same date, over his failure to appear in court for hearing.

He has, upon jumping bail, been accused of engaging in subversive activities that include inciting violence through television, radio and online broadcasts against Nigeria and Nigerian State and institutions.

Kanu was also accused of instigating violence especially in the Southeastern Nigeria that resulted in the loss of lives and property of civilians, military, para military, police forces and destruction of civil institutions and symbols of authorities.

Abubakar Malami, SAN
Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice
29th June, 2021

Nnamdi Kanu was extradited, says lawyer

Mr. Alloy Ejimako, lawyer to separatist leader, suggested this afternoon that Nnamdi Kanu, was extradited, ostensibly by the British Government.

Ejimakor, like most people, however appeared not to have the full information about how Kanu was picked up.

The separatist leader was arrested on Sunday and taken to court today to continue his trial for treasonable felony.

There are 10 additional charges including terrorism, managing an unlawful society, publication of defamatory matter, illegal possession of firearms, and improper importation of goods.

Other reports however said the pro-Biafran advocate may have been picked up in Prague, capital city of the Czech Republic.

A statement from the attorney general lends credence to this as he implied Mr. Kanu was waylaid and nabbed.

“Nnamdi Kanu has been intercepted… He has been brought back to Nigeria, in order to continue facing trial after disappearing,” Malami said in a statement

Ejimako told the BBC that Kanu’s arrest and deportation took everyone by surprise.

The arrest and repatriation was shocking because everyone believed he was safe and protected in a Western country, the lawyer said.

He also defended his client for jumping bail, saying he escaped ftom Nigeria to save his life which was being threatened.

“Remember that Nigeria security people invaded his house at Afaraukwu, Umuahia?” he reminded newsmen.

Ejimako described Kanu as a citizen expressing a personal political opinion which is a universal right.

“I don’t see the crime in somebody pushing for self-determination for his people,” he said.

Ejimakor said no one knows what will happen next as the case goes on Trial.

Kanu Denied Bail

Trial judge, Justice Binta Nyako, this afternoon remanded Kanu in custody as he resumes his trial for treasonable felony.

Justice Nyako ordered him to be kept under the custody of Department for State Security (DSS)..

The trial was adjourned to July date.

Statement by Kanu’s lawyer

We have just confirmed through a correspondence from the Federal High Court Abuja, about the arrest and the extradition of my Client- Mazi Nnamdi Kanu by the Nigerian State.

It is to be noted therefore, that no matter the gravity of the offences or charge preferred against him, Section 36(5) of the Constitution still presumes him innocent of the allegation.

He was brought before the Federal High Court No 2 Abuja today on an Eleven count charge, though without our knowledge.

As it is in the public domain, the matter has been consequently adjourned to the 26th Day of July 2021, for Continuation of Trial.

The legal team ably led by my humble self will meet them in court on this date.

We insist that he must be given a fair hearing/trial which is his constitutionally protected right.

His safety as also guaranteed under our law throughout the trial and afterwards, should be enforced.

Our fortified Legal team will be meeting to agree on strategies within the context of the Charge and disposition of the Court.

Await further update from us as we progress.

Thank you and remain blessed.

Bar. Ifeanyi Ejiofor
IPOB/Nnamdi Kanu lead Counsel.

Govt re-arrest IPOB’s Nnamdi Kanu, bring to trail

The Federal Govt today, 29 June 2021, announces successful re-arrest of leader of Indigenous Peoples of Biafra, IPOB’s Mr. Nnamdi Kanu

Enugu Metro learnt Mr. Kano was returned to court this afternoon to continue with his trial for attempted overthrow of the government.

The trial, reports say, continued in the Federal High Court presided by Justice Binta Bello.

There was a heavy security cordon in the courtroom with none but lawyers and prosecutord allowed access.

Details of Mr. Kanu’s arrest are still sketchy at this time.

News of the arrest was attributed to Attorney General and Justice Minister, Abubakar Malami at a briefing with the country’s security chiefs on Sunday.

The arrest was said to have been made the same day, Sunday 27 June, although they did not indicate the location where Kanu was picked up.

Malami indicated that the IPOB strongman was handed over to Department of State Security officials who brought him to court today.

Since it is not clear where he was picked up, analysts speculated that this could have been in London where Mr. Kanu lives.

If this were the case, it would be hard to determine whether his was an abduction or the result of a collaboration between Nigeria and British Governments.

Under international conventions, a country could request repatriation of an alleged criminal escapee by their home country for prosecution.

The host could also refuse requests for repatriation, as happened in 1984 when the Buhari Military regime sought to bring back Alhaji Umaru Dikko for corruption trial.

A subsequent government-sponsored attempt was made to abduct Alhaji Umaru from the streets of London and stuff his body into a crate for export to Nigeria.

Kanu was extradited by the British, his lawyer says

The commando-like operation was foiled by eagle-eyed British security officials at Heathrow Airport.

Like Dikko, Mr. Kanu has waged a relentless propaganda asssult on the Buhari administration from his London hideout since escaping trial.

He is however a British citizen, which makes the reported arrest curious.

Anambra PDP matches APGA with a tested manager

The 6 November 2021 Anambra governorship battle becomes exciting as opposition PDP matches the APGA bespoke candidate with a tested private sector manager.

The PDP flagbearer is Mr. Valentine Chineto Ozigbo, a first-class accountant, award-winning academic and hands-on private sector manager. The candidate distinguished himself as a top-flight banking and hospitality services manager.

Ozigbo, the Amesi native from Aguata LGA, fought hard to narrowly displace a galaxy of nine candidates who fought gallantly for the nomination. The battle took place at the Dora Akunyili Women Centre, Awka yesterday, 26 June 2021.

At the end of balloting, Ozigbo secured only 62 votes to emerge victorious. However, this was enough to displace titans like Dr. Obiora Okonkwo(58 votes), Senator Uche Ekwunife(44), and Dr. Godwin Maduka(5 votes).

Okonkwo is the billionaire owner of United Airlines, Ekwunife is a serving senator, while Maduka is a successful medical practitioner and one-man army in philanthropy and charitable deeds.

The party picked 217 electors as “super delegates” out of the original 3,200 that emerged from the ward primaries. The super delegates chose the flagbearer in a keenly contested battle.

The also-rans include Winston Ude (12 votes), Chris Azubogu (10), Genevieve Ekwochi (3), Chidi Onyemelukwe (2) and Walter Okeke (2). Only three ballots were voided, according to the returning officer.

Ozigbo, the Peoples Democratic Party candidate, stands toe-to-toe in almost every respect with Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, the APGA candidate.

He is a chartered professional accountant and taxation specialist, holding professional memberships of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria, as well as the Institute of Credit Administration.

Mr. Ozigbo has had over 16 years of professional banking experience working in some of the biggest banks in Nigeria.

He was Head of Commercial Banking at Diamond Bank Plc for five years, Business Manager at the United Bank for Africa, and acting Regional Director of FSB International Bank.

He returned to UBA as Head of International Banking from where he later left to join Keystone Bank where he made his last pitch as a banker, as head of the bank’s Global Transaction Operations.

In 2011, Ozigbo took his experience as a commercial, retail, investment and global banker to the hospitality services sector as Chief Executive Officer of Transcorp Hotels Plc. In this position, he oversaw the operations of both Transcorp Hilton, Abuja and Transcorp Hotels, Calabar.

Ozigbo (51) got all of his formative education in the little town of Amesi in Aguata. He probably never left his village until he was admitted to read accountancy at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka in 1989.

This, however, did not faze him as he emerged with a first-class degree and as best graduating student of both his department and the faculty in 1993.

He later returned to his alma mater for a master’s degree in Banking and Finance which he passed in flying colors. Six years later, he became a Chevening scholar graduating with Distinction in another master’s degree at the Lancaster University in the UK in 2004.

Analysts yesterday commended Anambra PDP for introducing a flagbearer that matches the big profile of APGA candidate, Prof. Soludo.

The APC, they said, may be put in a spot as they attempt to settle for a candidate that will match the pedigree of both contenders from APGA and the PDP.

Hotels in Enugu

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Oye-led APGA is recognized, says INEC

Enugu Metro confirms that the Chief Victor Oye-led APGA is the sole recognized faction by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Our checks show that the electoral body recognizes only the faction led by Chief Oye, as advertised on INEC’s website.

The party on Wednesday selected noted economist, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, as governorship candidate for the 6 November Anambra State contest.

However, a rival faction announced soon after that the candidate has been suspended from the party.

Chief Oye insisted in a Channels TV interview that there was no factional fight in the party. He described the rival group as “impostors.”

But the Independent National Electoral Commission has also come on air to approve the nomination yesterday.

In addition, the State Government yesterday pleaded for media restraint in promoting a rival group seeking to supplant legitimate leadership.

The State noted that the Victor Oye-led APGA is the only legitimate body recognized by the Party’s Constitution.

Govt spokesperson, Chief C. Don Adinuba, said in a statement that the rival group are mere “pretenders to the throne of Pontifex Maximus.”

“The newspapers have kept on referring to APGA as factionalized whereas the party has no factions.

“INEC recognizes no factions. It has been dealing with only the leadership of Dr Victor Ikechukwu Oye, the APGA national chairman.

“Even the letter which the newspapers fantastically interpreted as a disqualification of the party in the forthcoming election is addressed to only Dr Oye, and no other person.

“INEC cannot participate in any publicity stunt by some pretenders to the throne of Pontifex Maximus, however dramatic it may appear” he concluded.

Warnings to Milliken Hill loggers; Govt sees red

Fed up with unheeded warnings to Milliken Hill loggers, Enugu authorizes police and civil defence to arrest and prosecute offenders.

The directive comes with final warning to loggers acused of threatening the scenic landscape and stability of its reconstructed road.

The actions of loggers “negatively affect the natural ecosystem, biodiversity and climate of the area,” Govt said in a statement.

Loggers cut down hundreds of trees in this scenic landscape, threatening to rob it of its tourism appeal.

Their actions, in addition, put the recently reconstructed Milliken Hill Road at risk, Govt spokesperson, Nnanyelugo Chidi Aroh said.

This continued denudation of the forest hill by “miscreants” is both “deliberate and wicked,” Aroh said in the statement.

Enugu State Government had hitherto issued repeated warnings to Milliken Hill loggers against the illegal activity. In addition, media reporters were taken on a conducted tour of the forest hill to further advertise the environmental threats.

Consequently, Aroh bemoaned these “illegal and senseless acts” threatening the environment and “stability and sustenance of the Milliken Hill Road.”

“Government wishes to reiterate its unwavering commitment to protection of the environment and all infrastructure in the State.

“Consequently, all those involved in this illegal and deforestation activities, are by this notice warned for the final time to desist from such activities.

“All relevant Government Agencies, including the Nigeria Police and Forest Guards, have been mandated as a matter of urgency to clamp down on all such activities and bring the perpetrators to justice.”

In addition, Govt pressed citizens who meet loggers in action to arrest or promptly report them to the security agencies.