Details have emerged on how the federal government of Nigeria apprehended the fugitive leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, over the weekend.
Following Kanu’s extradition to and arrest in Nigeria, the IPOB leader, has been ordered to be remanded in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS). The remand order was sequel to an application by a federal government lawyer, Shuaibu labaran.
Ruling on the request for remand in the custody of the DSS, Justice Nyako, held that the prosecution should inform Kanu’s lawyer of his re-arrest and remand in the custody of the DSS. The Judge subsequently adjourned till July 26 for a continuation of trial.
Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, had on Tuesday disclosed during a joint Press Conference with the DSS and Nigeria Police, that Kanu was arrested on Sunday, June 27, 2021.
However, the briefing was silent on where he was arrested.
The arrest was planned and executed by the Nigerian Security and Intelligence agencies. It was coordinated by the Nigeria Intelligence Agency (NIA).
It was gathered that the NIA, which is the external arm of Nigeria’s security intelligence, lured the separatist campaigner from his base in London to an African country with a promise of cash donation in millions of dollars, from where he was “intercepted” and whisked to Abuja in a chattered jet.
Kanu’s arrest and repatriation, it was further learnt, jolted the foreign mission in Nigeria because it came to them as a shock.
They did not have an inkling into the plan.
The diplomatic missions had to be making frantic enquiries to enable them get the full information on the covert arrest and repatriation.
A source said: “The security agencies got intelligence report that Kanu was out of London and they quickly activated the arrest plan. The whole process was unconventional. He was with a woman in a hotel when he was picked up and brought to Nigeria.
“Intelligence agencies had trailed him to Britain and Germany (where his brother lives) but they could not get him until he jetted out.
“All I can tell you is that he was “picked up” and brought to face justice. This is why the government has repeatedly claimed that Kanu was intercepted. No envoy of Nigeria participated in the operation.
In the first week of June, Malami, according to sources, had written a letter, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to the Government of Ethiopia seeking its cooperation to help track down Kanu in the country.
Nigeria had contacted INTERPOL for the arrest and extradition of Kanu to Nigeria to face his charges.
The government informed the Ethiopian Government that Kanu was on its soil and requested its cooperation with the INTEPOL.
Kanu was thereafter intercepted in Ethiopia by joint security operatives of the government and INTEPOL and extradited to Nigeria over the weekend.
Kanu was granted bail in 2017 and subsequently jumped bail and was declared wanted by the government.
Apart from pushing for penalties for the offence of jumping bail, the Federal Government is also holding Kanu responsible for various acts of violence recently in the South-East.
- Additional reports by The Nation and The Will