Trial Of IPOB Members Continues

The Nigerian government has filled a fresh three-count charge of treasonable felony four members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).  The four accused persons are Bright Chimeze, Benjamin Madubugwu, Chidiebere Onwudiwe and David Nwawuisi. They were initially facing a similar charge along with the wanted IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu.

Following the stalling of the trial by the disappearance of Kanu in September 2017, the prosecution lawyer, Shuaibu Labaran, asked the court to hear the charge against the other defendants separately.

The request was granted by the court presided by Binta Nyako and resulted in the new charge read before the court on Tuesday.  The four defendants pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Earlier, Mr. Labaran read from a sheet of paper which he described as the published version of an online publication, wherein a threat was made on the life of an operative of the State Security Service by IPOB members.  According to Labaran, a picture of the alleged operative was taken during the last sitting and used on the social media, with a threat by the IPOB members to “teach the operative a lesson”.

Responding, however, counsel to one of the defendants, Nnemeka Ejiofor, asked the court to disregard the publication as well as the allegation. Ejiofor accused the prosecution of fabricating the said allegation, stressing that the alleged publication “does not bear any similarities with a traceable medium.”

In a ruling, the judge warned journalists and family members to desist from taking pictures in the court room. “Otherwise, I shall ban the press. I shall also ban family members. I can do all that,” said Judge Nyako.  The judge also warned parties that she would not allow the lawyers to waste time in her court.  She adjourned the case till Thursday for further hearing.

 

IPOB: Nnamdi Kanu Absent As Trial Of Members Continue

The Nigerian government on Tuesday filed a fresh three-count charge of treasonable felony against four members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

The four accused persons are Bright Chimeze, Benjamin Madubugwu, Chidiebere Onwudiwe and David Nwawuisi.

They were initially facing a similar charge along with the wanted IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu.

Following the stalling of the trial by the disappearance of Mr. Kanu in September last year, the prosecution lawyer, Shuaibu Labaran, asked the court to hear the charge against the other defendants separately.

The request was granted by the court presided by Binta Nyako and resulted in the new charge read before the court on Tuesday.

The four defendants pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Earlier, Mr. Labaran read from a sheet of paper which he described as the published version of an online publication, wherein a threat was made on the life of an operative of the State Security Service by IPOB members.

According to Mr. Labaran, a picture of the alleged operative was taken during the last sitting and used on the social media, with a threat by the IPOB members to “teach the operative a lesson”.

Responding, however, counsel to one of the defendants, Nnemeka Ejiofor, asked the court to disregard the publication as well as the allegation.

Mr. Ejiofor accused the prosecution of fabricating the said allegation, stressing that the alleged publication “does not bear any similarities with a traceable medium.”

In a ruling, the judge warned journalists and family members to desist from taking pictures in the court room.

“Otherwise, I shall ban the press. I shall also ban family members. I can do all that,” said Mrs. Nyako.

The judge also warned parties that she would not allow the lawyers to waste time in her court.

She adjourned the case till Thursday for further hearing.

UPDATE: IPOB Denies Allegations Of Nnamdi Kanu Hiding In Ghana

Yesterday reports had it that leader of the Independent People of Biafra Nnamdi Kanu was seen in Ghana with his wife. This was after the IPOB members had accused the military of taking their leader into custody.

Latest update on the Nnamdi Kanu Ghana story is that the IPOB has said that only the Nigerian Army and the Federal Government know the whereabouts of their leaders, saying the rumours are false.

The separatist group’s Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, reacting to the rumors, described the news as “fake”, “misleading”, claiming it was fabricated by the Army and other security agents in the country.

The statement reads: “We are waiting for the next installment of these comical sightings or where they will say our leader is. Hopefully this time around one of the Nigerian security agencies will have guts and decency to come forward to say they have him in their custody.

“The sooner the Nigerian Army and government speaks the truth about the whereabouts of our leader, the better it will be for Nigeria. Understandably and rightfully so, a lot of people are angry about what has befallen our leader and they are beginning to manifest their irritation whenever the name Nigeria is mentioned in a public gathering in Biafraland”.

“How long the high command of IPOB can keep this anger under control is unknown to us but what we do know is that those holding our leader or his body should not let this anger become uncontrollable.

“Yesterday it was a fake non-existent DSS computer generated ‘IPOB leader’ they christened Okwudili Ezenachukwu who nobody has ever seen or heard from, today we are being entertained with yet another tale by the moonlight that our leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and his beautiful devoted wife were spotted in Accra, Ghana. The originators of this fake news and their merchants went as far as publishing old pictures of the couple to lend credence to what is in essence a calculated attempt to absolve the federal government of direct involvement in the abduction of our leader…

“No amount of fabrication and idle unsubstantiable speculation will deflect or weaken our resolve in pursuit of freedom for our leader and Biafra. This is not the first, second or third time such frivolous speculation has been placed in the public domain. It started with our leader being spotted around Cameroonian border disguised as a Yoruba woman.

“When that failed to be substantiated with pictorial proof or evidence they moved to situating him at a militant camp in the Niger Delta under the protection of our brothers, the Niger Delta Avengers.

“After a few months went by without any shred of proof they alleged that our leader was ferried by boat through the Atlantic Ocean to Ivory Coast. When again that failed to gain traction, they came up with these miraculous sightings in Ghana. These sightings are begining to assume the same dimension as those of Elvis Presley reportedly seen severally over the years around his home in Graceland, Memphis, USA.”

 

 

BREAKING: Nnamdi Kanu, Wife Spotted In Ghana

Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), has been spotted by security agents in Ghana, TheCable understands.

There has been controversy over the whereabouts of the IPOB leader who was last seen in public in September 2017 before the military launched Operation Python Dance II — apparently to quell the agitation for the breakaway of south-eastern Nigeria.

Since the military raided his home in Aba, Abia state, there has been speculation that he was arrested and might have been killed.

At some point, Orji Uzor Kalu, former governor of Abia state, said Kanu was in London.

His court trial for treason has stalled and Enyinnaya Abaribe, the senator who served as Kanu’s surety when he was granted bail after spending 18 months in detention, has sought to be discharged from the obligation after his disappearance.

However, security sources have informed TheCable that Kanu was ferried to the Niger Delta creeks by militants at the height of Python Dance II, from where he found his way to Ghana by sea.

He is regularly seen at Kenzo Bar and IBG saloon in Accra, disguised in fez cap and usually in company with his wife, Uchechi.

Kanu is said to live at an area called Cantonment, also in Accra, at an estate called “Arabella”.

He regularly patronises suya joints in remote parts of the city, according to the sources.

If confirmed, this will lay to rest speculations on the fate of the IPOB leader.

His brother once asked the military to release his “dead body” if he had been killed.

I Don’t Know The Whereabouts Of My Husband – Nnamdi Kanu’s Wife

Wife of Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Uchechi, has spoken out on the whereabouts of her husband.

Ucheche, who is based in London has maintained that her husband is in the custody of the Nigerian Army.

Insisting that she is not aware of Kanu’s whereabouts, Uchechi told BBC Igbo that she is not also aware if her husband was dead or alive.

She stated that the last time she spoke with Kanu was when soldiers invaded his residence in Umuahia, Abia State last year.

Uchechi said, “The IPOB people are not sleeping. The army is going to tell them where their leader is. Keeping Nnamdi Kanu does not mean that IPOB is asleep,” Uchechi said.

“I don’t know where my husband is. If he is dead or alive, I don’t know. People that are supposed to answer these questions are the army.

“The last time I saw him was when the army came to shoot in our house. He called me and asked if I was hearing the gunshots. I heard the gunshots and started shouting and asked him what was wrong.

“He said they are shooting and he is inside the house. That was the last time we spoke.”

Fate Of IPOB To Be Decided Today

The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja today will rule on the proscription of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB.

The Acting Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Abdul Abdu-Kafarati, will deliver the judgment in the suit seeking to void the proscription and declaration of IPOB, as a terrorist organisation.

The Pro-Biafra group had through its lawyer, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, approached the court challenging the ruling it delivered on September 20, 2017, which outlawed it on the strength of an ex-parte motion the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, filed on behalf of the government.

The court had declared as illegal, all activities of IPOB, particularly in the South-East and South-South regions of the country in the said ruling.

The Acting Chief Justice, who gave the ruling in chambers, further restrained “any person or group of persons from participating in any of the group’s activities.”

The judge further directed the AGF to ensure that he published the order proscribing IPOB in the official gazette, as well as in two national dailies, an order FG had since complied with.

 

Gowon Gives Candid Advice To Nnamdi Kanu

Gen. Yakubu Gowon (retd.), A former Head of State, has advised the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, to seek dialogue with the Federal Government rather than agitate to address issues affecting the South-East. He advised the IPOB leader not to seek disintegration as it could lead to loss of lives.

Gowon stated this on Friday while presenting his paper titled, “Unity in diversity: Responding to the current challenges of nation-building in Nigeria,” at the 2017 Distinguished Annual Lecture of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Jos, Plateau State.

He said, “My young friend, Nnamdi Kanu, was not born during the civil war, which was declared ‘no victor, no vanquished.’ It is sad to recall what happened at that time; the best way to seek redress is through dialogue.

“Kanu should pursue a healthy conversation on issues he is not comfortable with as it affects his people; this is the only way we can collaborate effectively and have things resolved amicably.”

Speaking further at the event, Gowon said that the activities of Fulani herdsmen had posed a threat to nation-building. The elder statesman asked the Federal Government to address the issue, which he said had become a nightmare for the country.

He said, “Today, the activities of nomadic herdsmen and cattle rustlers pose a serious challenge to the process of state-building.

“The activities of these groups have also polarised communities along ethnic and religious fault lines, which have had a serious impact on state-building.” Gowon said one of the solutions to dealing with the problem of herdsmen attacks was to find those supplying them arms as the Fulani in the past were not known for carrying arms.

Insisting that the creation of Nigeria was for a purpose, Gowon said, “There is nowhere else other than Nigeria that God assembled the highest concentration of black people around the world in one country.

IPOB Is “Dead and Gone” – Lai Mohammed

Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed has stated that the successful conduct of the governorship election in Anambra state last Saturday shows that the Nnamdi Kanu-led Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, is dead and gone.

According to the Information Minister, the turnout of voters during the polls has diminished the IPOB.

Lai Mohammed said this while addressing reporters in Abuja, the nation’s capital on Wednesday, against reported call by the pro-Biafra group for indigenes to stay away on the election day.

His words, “I think what that proved really is that IPOB does not represent the good people of Anambra or any state in the South East.

He said the IPOB propaganda about the election really showed that they are not on ground.

“The people of Anambra have shown that there is no alternative to democracy and that they believe in one Nigeria and federal system of government. If there are issues to be resolved, let us resolve it. But terrorism and separatism is not the answer.

“I think the Anambra election has sounded the death knell on IPOB because they said election will never hold. The election has come and gone, the turnout was quite reasonable.

“Every party competed very competitively and at the end of the day, the people of Anambra have decided who is going to be their governor.”

Judge’s Absence Stalls Kanu’s Trial

Trial of the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, at an Abuja Federal High Court has been adjourned till December 5, 2017.

 

The IPOB leader is standing trial before the Justice Binta Nyako-led court for charges bordering on treasonable felony leveled against him by the Federal Government.

 

The matter was adjourned due to the absence of ‎ Justice Nyako, who is said to be attending the “All Judges Conference” being held at the National Judicial Institute, Abuja.

Kanu was noticeably absent from court for the second time, following his disappearance after soldiers allegedly invaded his residence in Abia State on September 14.

Despite Kanu’s absence, Senator Eyinnaya Abaribe, who is one of the IPOB’s sureties was however in court.

Court To Rule On IPOB’s Application Against Ban Jan. 2018

The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has fixed January 17, 2018, to decide if it will set aside the order of proscription against Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) as a terrorist group.

IPOB had earlier asked the Federal High Court in Abuja to reverse its orders proscribing it and labelling it as a terrorist group.

In September 2017, IPOB made the request in a motion filed by its lawyer, Mr Ifeanyi Ejiofor, before the Acting Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Abdu Kafarati.

The group made this application barely 48 hours after Justice Kafarati had granted an ex-parte application by the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, for the proscription of the group and its categorisation as a terrorist group.

IPOB had insisted that it is a non-violent movement, based its motion on 13 grounds one of which was that the court did not have the jurisdiction to proscribe the group as it is “an entity unknown to law.”

Police Intensify Efforts As IPOB Threatens President Buhari’s Visit

The Ebonyi State Police Command on Monday warned the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra and political parties’ supporters against disruptive acts during President Muhammadu Buhari’s visit to the state on Tuesday.

IPOB had early on Monday told President Buhari not to come to the South-East, which it referred to as ‘Biafraland,’ or else he would not leave the geopolitical zone alive.

However, the Ebonyi State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Titus Lamorde, who gave the warning in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abakaliki, assured the people that the command was well equipped to deal with all forms of security challenges before, during and after the President’s visit.

According to Lamorde, any individual or group of persons that foment trouble before, during and after the visit would be severely dealt with, as people are advised to conduct themselves well.

“I will not disclose the number of personnel we have drafted for security reasons, but I assure citizens that enough personnel have been deployed across the state to ensure a hitch-free visit.

“The President’s visit is a welcome development as the citizens should cooperate with security agencies to make it a successful one,” he said.

He stated that his officers had been adequately trained to relate well with the citizens during the visit and advised people to conduct their activities within the confines of the law.

“We would not meddle in political issues as a security outfit, but the visit is development-oriented because of the numerous projects the President would inaugurate.

“My officers would not intimidate or harass individuals or groups as the duty of ensuring a hitch-free event is a collective one,” he said.

However, IPOB has vowed that Buhari will not go back alive if he decides to go ahead with his plans to visit the zone.

The President is billed to visit Ebonyi State on Tuesday (today) his first visit to the South-East since he assumed office in 2015.

IPOB said “blood will flow” if the President failed to heed the warning by going ahead with the trip.

The pro-Biafran group, which gave the warning in a statement by its spokesman, Emma Powerful, referred to Buhari as ‘Jubril of Sudan.’

In the statement, entitled, ‘Jubril of Sudan masquerading as Buhari must stay away from Biafraland or else blood will flow,’ IPOB claimed that an alleged impostor, one Jubril from Sudan, was actually the person parading himself as President Muhammadu Buhari, who it referred to as the “late dictator.”

The secessionists, in the same vein, said Buhari’s visit to the South-East would amount to an insult to the memory of all Biafran activists who died at the hands of federal troops since the President assumed power in 2015.

The group warned that the South-East Governors’ Forum and the leadership of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo were provoking violence and bloodshed by allegedly inviting Buhari to the zone.

“This is tantamount to an Israeli politician inviting Adolf Hitler to visit Jerusalem to mock the Jews he slaughtered in concentration camps during the holocaust,” the statement said.

Warning the President to stay away, the statement added, “It is with a heavy heart and grave sense of responsibility that we IPOB worldwide under the supreme command of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, announce to the world that those who are completely committed to provoking bloodshed in our land may have finally succeeded.

“The consequences of any fallout from the visit of the impostor Jubril to Ebonyi State will rest squarely on the head of Chief John Nnia Nwodo (President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo) governors Dave Umahi (Ebonyi), Rochas Okorocha (Imo) and the rest of the South-East governors.

“Bringing this version of ‘Buhari’ to insult the memory of those killed at Enugu, Nkpor, Igweocha, Aba, Onitsha and lastly Umuahia will not be tolerated by IPOB and every right thinking Biafran.

“Tuesday, 14th November, 2017  will be recorded in history as a very bloody day should that Jubril masquerading as Buhari attempt to land on Biafran soil.

“We have remained passive and peaceful but it appears that the Hausa/Fulani slave politicians in Igboland are hell-bent on provoking us to become violent.

“Whoever advised Ohanaeze Ndigbo and Igbo governors to embark on this suicide mission does not wish them well.”

IPOB also alleged that Buhari’s planned visit to Anambra State on November 15 was meant to finalise plans by the All Progressives Congress to rig the November 18 governorship election in the state.

Threatening the President with death, the pro-Biafran group said, “Our message is short and simple. Jubril a.k.a. Muhammadu Buhari will be exposed to the world as the impostor he is by making sure he never goes back alive.

“We will die with him should he set his foot on the sacred land of Biafra. He will not go back alive.”

The group further claimed that Buhari ordered soldiers to kill its leader, Nnamdi Kanu, whose whereabouts is unknown.

“He (Buhari) played a key role in all the theatres of genocidal mass slaughter of the Nigerian/Biafran War (1967-1970). He instructed soldiers to kill Nnamdi Kanu at his Afaraukwu, Abia State residence two months ago. We are yet to know our leader’s whereabouts or that of his parents.

“They (Hausa/Fulani) hate our people with a passion, they love killing us, so his coming is only to celebrate what he sees as the final defeat of our people. He will not go home alive.”

IPOB warned that those who invited Buhari to the South-East would pay dearly.

“All those who plotted this visit will pay dearly. When the time for vengeance comes there will be no forgiveness.

“We are going to perish together with this ‘Buhari’. It’s a promise,” the statement added.

Meanwhile, an election observer group, Youth Initiative for Advocacy Growth and Advancement, on Monday asked security agencies and other stakeholders in the Anambra State governorship election to address the “vote-and-die” threat issued by IPOB before Saturday’s governorship poll.

The Project Manager of YIAGA, Cynthia Mbamalu, stated this in Awka, the Anambra State capital, at a press conference to update newsmen about the group’s activities towards the poll.

Describing the threat as serious, the group said it could lead to voters’ apathy if their fears were not allayed.

It said YIAGA’s investigation showed that there was palpable fear among citizens, especially voters, about the threat.

It called on traditional rulers, president-general of town unions, the police, the Independent National Electoral Commission and other stakeholders to address the issue and allay the fears of voters before the poll.