Eastern elders storm Kanu’s family home, go spiritual over his release
By Steve Oko
The struggle for the release of the Leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, has taken a spiritual dimension as Elders from the Old Eastern Region, Tuesday stormed his ancestral home at Afaraukwu Ibeku Umuahia, Abia State, to seek divine intervention.
The elders who came from the nine states of the defunct Eastern Region, engaged in intensive prayers inside Kanu’s father’s compound, surrounding the graves of his late parents, HRH Eze Israel, and Ugoeze Kanu.
Wawa News Global reports that Kanu was arrested and extraordinarily renditioned from Kenya in June 2021, and has since then been detained at the Abuja headquarters of the Department of State Services, DSS.
His family and lawyers have challenged his arrest and continued detention but despite favourable court judgements, the federal government has refused to let him go.
Addressing newsmen later after the prayers, Bishop Dr Yek Honeys Kings who read from a prepared text, appealed to the international community to prevail on the Federal Government of Nigeria to release Kanu in honour of the United Nations Opinion, and various court judgements ordering his unconditional release.
The text which was jointly signed by
Chief Agonsi Ebere, and Aniekan Ekanem, on behalf of the Elders, noted with concern the deplorable health condition of Kanu which it said would worsen if no urgent intervention came his way.
It read in part:”Mazi Kanu is gravely ill with three-life threatening serious heart condition, hypertension and low potassium levels. All of these conditions demand specialist medical care and complex medical intervention that are not available at the facility where he is currently detained.”
The elders regretted that the federal government had turned down every request for independent specialist medical attention to Kanu.
It further read:”Accordingly, and particularly within the reality of Mazi Kanu’s deteriorating health, we hereby earnestly urge the international community to prevail on the Federal Government to promptly comply with the Opinion of the United Nations, particularly as it pertains to the unconditional release of Mazi Kanu from detention.
“The Government of Nigeria should cease and desist from further criminal prosecution of Mazi Kanu and to instead, constructively engage him in a dialogue aimed at seeking a structured political solution to the Biafran question.”
The elders insisted that Kanu’s quest for the restoration of Biafra republic was lawful and enjoyed the full support of the generality of the people of the defunct Eastern Region.
They faulted the claims by the federal government that Kanu is leading a terrorist group, insisting that IPOB is registered in the UK with branches all over the world.
“IPOB is registered as a legal entity in the United Kingdom; it maintains its headquarters in Germany, and it has numerous offices and chapters around the world. It operates in the open as a non-violent group including in Nigeria before the Government of Nigeria unfairly proscribed it in 2017. IPOB maintains a strong civic presence in all European Union nations where it has never been indicted for any infraction since it came into being in 2012.
“In the United Kingdom, it owns and maintains an internet radio known as Radio Biafra, under the directorship of Mr. Kanu.”
The elders accused the federal government of persecuting Kanu unjustly as he did nothing to warrant his unlawful arrests and detentions.
“On October 14, 2015, Mazi Kanu was arrested in Lagos, Nigeria, few days after his arrival from his base in London. He was subsequently released on bail and he returned to his ancestral home in Umuahia, Abia State in Southeast Nigeria.
“From September 10 to 14, 2017, Nigerian security forces led by the Army levied lethal attacks at Mazi Kanu’s home. The security forces used live bullets and other lethal munitions and several people including Mazi Kanu, his parents (now late), his siblings, women, the elderly, and numerous visitors were at the said home during the attacks. At the end of the attacks, Mazi Kanu’s home was badly damaged, dozens of people were killed, many were wounded and maimed; and the security forces captured several people alive and disappeared them to unknown locations to this day.
“This lethal military invasion of Mazi Kanu’s home; the crushing militarization of the entire Eastern part of Nigeria; the nationwide manhunt for him by security forces and the rising extrajudicial killings of IPOB members, compelled him to flee Nigeria in search of refuge and to save his life.
“In the course of his involuntary exile and sojourns abroad, Mazi Kanu, on 12th May 2021, entered the Republic Kenya as a British subject and was legally admitted on his British passport. After his admission, he settled-in at a temporary location in Nairobi, Kenya.
“On June 19, 2021, Mazi Kanu was abducted by Nigerian agents in Nairobi (Kenya) and without subjecting him to extradition proceedings, he was extraordinarily renditioned to Nigeria on 27th June, 2021, – after enduring torture and enforced disappearance in Kenya for eight days.
“He has since then been detained in solitary confinement in Nigeria. In September 2021, Mazi Kanu brought a constitutional lawsuit seeking the enforcement of his fundamental rights, stemming from the military invasion of his home as earlier stated.
” In January 2022, High Court of Abia State State rendered a judgment in his favor, condemning the military invasion. The judgment also ordered the government to apologize to him for the military invasion. Till date, the federal government has neither paid the compensation, nor rendered the apology.
” In October 2021, he filed a Complaint with the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention. On 20th July, 2022, the Working Group rendered an Opinion, stating that Mazi Kanu was arbitrarily arrested, tortured and extraordinarily renditioned to Nigeria in violation of international jaws and norms. | Accordingly, the Working Group directed the government of Nigeria to unconditionally and immediately release him and accord him the opportunity ‘of Seeking reparations for his unlawful expulsion from Kenya and the attendant violations of his human rights.
“On 13th October, 2022, the Nigerian Court of Appeal delivered a judgment, stating that Mazi Kanu’s presence in Nigeria is as a result of an impermissible extraordinary rendition. The court accordingly discharged Mazi Kanu from all criminal charges pending against him.
“In March 2022, Mr. Kanu brought another constitutional lawsuit before the Federal High Court of Nigeria seeking the enforcement of his fundamental tights, stemming from his unlawful extraordinary rendition from Kenya.
“On 26th October, 2022, the High Court rendered a judgment In favor of Mazi Kanu, condemning the extraordinary rendition and the consequent torture and unlawful detention and awarded damages against the Federal Republic of Nigeria (and in favor of Mazi to the tune of N500 million, but Government never complied “.