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General News of Monday, 3 October 2022


Nnamdi Kanu doesn't authorise Tuesday sit-at-home - Lawyer

Nnamdi Kanu Nnamdi Kanu

Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), has denied ordering a sit-at-home in the South-east on Tuesday, his lawyer, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, said on Saturday.

A Federal High Court in Umuahia, Abia State, fixed 4 October for the resumption of hearing on the N25 billion fundamental rights suit filed by Mr Kanu.

The IPOB leader is challenging his arrest in Kenya by Nigerian security agents and “expulsion” to Nigeria.

IPOB, which is leading the agitation for the creation of an independent state of Biafra from the South-east and some parts of the South-south, had suspended Monday’s sit-at-home order, in preference for the order to be implemented only on the days Mr Kanu appears in court.

There have been speculations that residents of the South-east would be forced to observe a sit-at-home order on Tuesday because of the court case coming up in Abia.

But Mr Ejiofor in a Twitter post said Mr Kanu, whom they usually call “Onyendu”, would not be appearing in the court and, therefore, there will be no sit-at-home in the region on that day.

Onyendu, an Igbo expression, means “the leader.”

The lawyer explained that the court sitting in Abia is for the fundamental rights suit filed by Mr Kanu against the Nigerian government, and not the same with his terrorism charges in the Federal High Court, Abuja.

The lawyer said the legal team received “ firm instruction” from Mr Kanu to make the clarification.

“As such, Onyendu neither directed, approved nor authorised anyone to declare a sit-at-home on that date,” he said.

“Members of the general public are advised to go about their normal business activities on this said date.”

He said the clarification became “compelling and necessary” due to an “avalanche of misleading information on the social media and plethora of calls” from concerned residents of the region asking about the authenticity of the rumoured Tuesday sit-at-home order in the region.

The lawyer said several other pending suits, in various courts, filed against the government challenging the alleged extraordinary rendition of Mr Kanu would be heard this week, but that a sit-at-home would not be observed in the region as a result of the court sittings.

Mr Ejiofor assured the people that the legal team would inform them anytime Mr Kanu is scheduled to appear in court in continuation of his trial which would require the sit-at-home in the region.

“Onyendu Mazi Nnamdi Kanu is passing through his present ordeal because of his earnest desire to emancipate his people from any form of suffering or oppression,” he said.

“There is, therefore, no way he will support anything that will bring more hardship on the same people he is suffering for,” the lawyer added.

Mr Kanu was first arrested in October 2015 and charged with treason and terrorism.

He was granted bail on medical grounds in 2017, but fled the country after the invasion of his home in Afara-Ukwu, near Umuahia, Abia State, by military forces in September of that year.

He was “intercepted” in Kenya in June, last year, by Nigerian security agents and brought back to Abuja.

The IPOB leader had filed a suit at the Court of Appeal in Abuja, urging it to dismiss the terrorism and treason charges against him.

The appeal court on 13 September reserved judgement on the suit.

The court said a date for the judgement would be communicated to both the government and Mr Kanu.

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