Nnamdi Kanu with his legal team at a federal high court in Abuja on 18/01/2022.

Justice Binta Nyako of a federal high court has asked Nnamdi Kanu, detained leader of the Indigenous People Of Biafra (IPOB) to explain why he fled the country in 2017.

“You have to explain to me why you did not abide by my bail conditions,” Ms Nyako queried while rejecting the bail application of the separatist leader on Wednesday. “This application is premature and also refused, the bail application can be refiled and reapplied.

Backstory

Mr Kanu, a relatively unknown agitator, came to limelight after President Muhammadu Buhari administration arrested and arraigned him on treasonable felony charges until he was granted bail and released in 2017 with one of the conditions barring him from hosting a rally.

After his release, he began hosting supporters who throng his residence in solidarity before army personnel stormed his home and opened live rounds, killing dozens in the process.

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The Buhari administration hastily designated the group as a terrorist organisation due to the clash involving unarmed protesting members of IPOB and the military.

Mr Kanu, whose whereabouts became unknown after the attack on his place of abode, resurfaced in Israel the next year, returned to his base in the United Kingdom where he continued propagating his secessionist activities.

In 2021, he expressed willingness to return back to the country to continue his trial only if his security will be guaranteed.

A federal high court sitting in Umuahia while ruling in an application he filed before it, faulted the military for raiding Kanu’s residence. In its verdict delivered earlier in the year, the court ordered the federal government to pay Mr Kanu the sum of N1 billion for the illegal invasion. The orders of the court has not been complied with and has it been appealed, as at press time.

Last year, Mr Kanu was intercepted and mysteriously brought back to the country. Charges against him were amended from 7 to 15, eight of which was later struck out over repetition.

At the resumed hearing on Wednesday, the federal government dropped one of the charges and included two lawyers of the defendants as accomplices in the six-count terrorism charge slammed on Mr Kanu.

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