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General News of Monday, 9 January 2023


US lawmaker demands IPOB leader Kanu’s release

IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu

A United States lawmaker, Jarvis Johnson, on Monday urged the Federal Government to immediately release the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu.
Johnson represents District 39 in the Texas House of Representatives.

He made the call in a statement entitled: “Representative Johnson speaks out against oppression within the Nigerian Government and the freedom of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu”.

He stated: “Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, is the foremost freedom fighter for the rights of oppressed people in Nigeria.

“For over 19 months, after he was kidnapped in Kenya, tortured, and illegally taken to Nigeria, he has been in solitary confinement.

“In July 2022, a United Nations Working Group, after its deliberations on his matter, called for his unconditional release.

“The Nigerian Government has not complied.

“On October 22, several Nigerian trial and appeals courts, acquitted and discharged him of all the bogus charges levied against him by the Nigerian government.

“The Nigerian government has refused to obey the orders of its own courts, and Mazi Nnamdi Kanu remains in solitary confinement enforced by its Secret Police.”

The Congressman, considered one of the foremost voices for the oppressed in the USA and within the minority communities, said “Mazi Kanu’s health conditions have been ignored by Nigeria’s Secret Police.”

Johnson added: “He has been denied access to his doctors and the regular supply of his medications.

“His health has increasingly deteriorated, and it is now feared that he may die in solitary confinement.

“Mazi Kanu’s only offence is that he is the leading advocate for the freedom of all oppressed Nigerians, and a referendum on the Biafran issue.

“The right of free speech including political advocacy is a cornerstone of all democracies.

“At a time when democracy is threatened globally, it is imperative that we all join hands to protect Mazi Kanu’s right to freedom of speech.

“The illegal kidnapping, torture, and solitary confinement of Mazi Kanu offends our democratic norms.

“So does the wilful disobedience of the judgments of its own courts by the Nigerian government.

“I am demanding the immediate release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.

“The government of Nigeria needs to comply with the UN Mandate and the orders of its own courts.

“The Nigerian government is carrying out another form of genocide, one citizen at a time.

“I am calling on the American government to get involved to stop this genocide.

“We have protected other countries around this world to help vulnerable populations; we need to do the same for Nigeria and its Biafran citizens.”

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The Federal Government had appealed an order to release Kanu.

The IPOB leader was re-arraigned on January 19 before Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court in Abuja.

He pleaded not guilty to a 15-count terrorism charge filed against him by the Federal Government.

Kanu was accused of making a broadcast “with intent to intimidate the population”, in which he “threatened that people will die, the whole world will standstill”.

He was also accused of issuing “a deadly threat” that anyone who flouted his sit-at-home order should write his/her Will, which resulted in a lockdown of the Southeast.

Kanu also professed himself to be a member and leader of IPOB, a proscribed organisation in Nigeria, contrary to and punishable under Section 16 of the Terrorism Prevention Amendment Act, 2013.

He was said to have incited members of the public “to hunt and kill Nigerian security personnel and their families”.

The Federal Government said Kanu directed IPOB members “to manufacture bombs” and to “destroy public facilities”.

He also allegedly threatened the public not to come out on May 31, 2021, and directed them “to destroy public transport system in Lagos, resulting in major economic loss to the government”.

The prosecution said he “imported into Nigeria and kept in Ubullisiuzor in Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State…a radio transmitter known as Tram SOL concealed in a container of used household items which you declared as used household items”.

The alleged offence, the prosecution said, is punishable under Section 1(2)(b) of the Terrorism Prevention Amendment Act 2013.