Nnamdi Kanu

Nnamdi Kanu

Kanu’s trial will continue if he steps in Nigeria, says Presidency

Nigerian presidency on Tuesday said Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of Biafra separatist group, who reappeared in Jerusalem after months he was rumoured to have been killed by the Nigerian military, will face his pending trail once he returns to the country.

President Muhammadu Buhari’s media aide, Garba Shehu, spoke on the matter in an interview on the BBC Hausa Service.

She also said that Kanu reappearance has clarified rumours surrounding Kanu’s whereabouts:

 “If it happens to be true, the video footage showing Mr Nnamdi Kanu; the truth has been revealed about his alleged assassination against Nigerian government,” Shehu said.

While speaking on Tuesday morning, Shehu said the Nigerian government was put under pressure on false accusations Kanu had either been killed or kidnapped.

“This fairy tale went up to United Nations General Assembly where some IPOB members staged a protest accusing Nigeria government of kidnapping and even killing of Mr. Kanu,” Shehu said.

He said now that Mr Kanu has appeared, people will know who lied between the government and those that made accusations.

When asked what will happen if Kanu eventually returns to Nigeria, Shehu said his trial would be expected to continue.

Barely one year after Nigeria’s military Operation Python Dance swept him out of his country home in Abia State, South-East Nigeria, separatist leader, Kanu,  resurfaced in Israel.

Kanu said in Sunday’s broadcast that he was still pushing for a referendum to create the independent state of Biafra.

It is unclear how Kanu was able to get to Israel, as reportedly surrendered his Nigerian and British passports after his arrest. But an informed source said that Kanu made most of his journey to Israel through the water and his movement graced by his strong Israel connection.

In the Sunday broadcast, Kanu urged his followers to boycott 2019 general elections in Nigeria unless the government agrees to his push for a referendum.

“Ipob will liberate Biafra and we will not take part in any elections until we get a referendum, it is not negotiable, we will do it by any means,” he added.

“I will be back soon in the land of Biafra and I will bring hell with me,” he said.

“I owe my survival to the state of Israel,” he added, saying that he had been aided by Mossad, country’s spy agency, without elaborating how he was assisted.

Although a large proportion of his followers for actualizing independence of Biafra from Nigeria dispersed after the onslaught, there appear to be some remnants who are hailing his re-appearance. However, given the circumstance he fled Nigeria in the heat of military attack, he is not likely to arouse the level of consciousness as he did in the wake of the year.

The Presidential candidate of main opposition party, Atiku Abubakar, has appointed a son of South-East as his running mate. This gesture is likely to cool some frayed nerves in the region.

Kanu resurfaced in Israel over the weekend at the western wall of Jerusalem.

“I’m in Israel,” Mr Kanu said on Sunday in a broadcast on his outlawed pirate radio station – Radio Biafra.

Photos and videos of the Indigenous People Of Biafra (Ipob) leader praying at the Wailing Wall has also been shared online.

Some reports had said that Mr Kanu was being detained after the 2017 raid.


Editorial Chief, Nigerian Bureau

Kings UBA is a Nigerian journalist and writer. I have reported for major local and international news organisations. I write satire. In 2017, I started contributing stories primarily to Discover Africa News Network. I can be reached on editorkingsuba@gmail.com. I currently manage Discover Africa News social media handles