Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) will today appear before the Court of Appeal in Abuja.
The Hearing of Mr Kanu’s appeal challenging the seven-count charge filed against him by the federal government was earlier slated for October 11 but was later brought forward to today, September 13.
Recall that the federal government had re-arraigned Mr Kanu on an amended 15-count charge bordering on treasonable felony. However, on May 28, the trial judge struck out eight of the 15-count charge.
The Appeal marked No: CA/ABJ/CR/ 625/2022; is challenging the remaining seven-count against Mr Kanu.
What they are saying
Following the intended appearance of Kanu at the appellate court today, IPOB declared a sit-at-home for the South-Eastern part of the country.
In a statement issued on Saturday by the group’s Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, they noted that there shall be a total lockdown of the five states in the southeast for Mr Kanu’s appearance in court and for the visit of President Muhammad Buhari to Imo state.
President Buhari will be visiting Imo state today to commission completed projects by Governor Hope Uzodimma.
- The group stated, “The global family and movement of the IPOB wishes to announce to the general public, especially Biafrans that Tuesday, September 13, has been declared a day of civil action in the form of Sit-At-Home in Biafraland.
- “Tuesday’s civil action is very important for two reasons: First, our leader’s Appeal court hearing that was supposed to be on October 11 has been brought forward to September 13, 2022.
- “Secondly, it has come to our knowledge that the Imo State Government has decided to invite President Muhammadu Buhari to Owerri the Imo state capital Tuesday the 13th of September 2022 the very same day the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra Mazi Nnamdi Kanu will be appearing in Court.
- “There shall be a total lockdown of the whole of Biafraland on Tuesday the 13th of September 2022. The Imposter Buhari cannot be coming to Imo State while he continues to detain our leader Mazi Nnamdi in the DSS custody.
- “Kanu must be released unconditionally because he committed no crime known to law. We must warn women groups, the clergymen and women, traditional rulers, president-generals and others who may be contemplating going to Owerri on Tuesday to welcome Buhari.
- “If you are in support of Buhari detaining our leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, then go to Owerri on Tuesday the 13th day of September and welcome the President.
- “We, therefore, expect all markets, schools, banks, businesses and companies including police stations in Biafra Land to be under lock and key on Tuesday, September 13, 2022, in solidarity with our Leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.”
What you should know
- Following Mr Kanu’s extradition from Kenya, he was re-arraigned in October 2021, before Justice Binta Nyako at the Abuja division of the Federal High court on his alleged involvement in acts of terrorism.
- He pleaded not guilty to the fresh 7-count charges bordering on alleged terrorism and treasonable felony slammed against him by the Department of State Security (DSS).
- When the trial resumed on January 18, 2022, the federal government proffered fresh 8 terrorism charges against him increasing the number to 15 of which he also pleaded not guilty to.
- On May 28, the trial judge struck out eight of the 15 count charge against him leaving 7 charges.
- Consequently, Mr Kanu approached the court of appeal seeking to challenge the remaining seven-count charge against him.
- Kanu also applied for bail however, on May 18, Justice Nyako dismissed the bail application saying he has to explain to her why he did not abide by her earlier bail conditions granted in 2017. She held that he was at liberty to file another bail application explaining why he was absent from the case since 2017.
- Mr Kanu’s counsel again filed a fresh bail application before the court praying the court to set aside the order made on March 28, 2019, which issued a bench warrant for his client’s arrest and directed the FG to try him in absentia.