SECESSIONIST group the Indigenous People of Biafra (Ipob) has expressed fears that its leader Nnamdi Kanu have been killed in detention after the Department of State Services (DSS) failed to produce him in court yesterday.
Yesterday morning, Mr Kanu was due to appear in court to face treason charges after he was abducted in Kenya last month and flown back to Nigeria. Mr Kanu jumped bail in 2017 and fled the country but following his arrest and deportation, his trial has resumed before Justice Binta Nyako of the federal high court Abuja.
However, the DSS failed to produce Mr Kanu in court yesterday, leading Ipob spokesman Emma Powerful to suggest that Mr Kanu may have been killed in DSS custody. He added that the failure of the secret police to produce the Biafra agitator points to the fact that he may be dead.
Mr Powerful said: “We are no longer comfortable with this development and we have enough grounds to suspect foul play. With the failure of DSS to produce our leader in court today without any cogent reason and coupled with the torture meted out to him since his abduction in Kenya, we are worried about the safety of our leader.
“The failure of DSS to produce our leader in court today confirms our fear over the uncertainty concerning his health. Considering his deteriorating health condition since he was kidnapped and the refusal of DSS to grant him access to his personal physicians, it is possible that our leader may have been killed.”
Mr Kanu has been in DSS custody since he was rearrested and detained, a few weeks ago. Upon return, Justice Binta Nyako of a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja had ordered he be remanded by the secret police but the DSS failed to produce the Ipob leader in court because of logistics.
Aloy Ejimakor, Ipob’s lawyer, had claimed that the lack of evidence could have prevented the Nigerian government from presenting Mr Kanu in court. At yesterday’s hearing, Justice Nyako adjourned the case until October 21.