FG plots fresh charges against IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu | NN NEWS

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Detained leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu, will be facing fresh charges, the Federal Government reveals, Vanguard reports. 

The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, SAN, disclosed that the new charge will incorporate fresh allegations against the IPOB leader. 

The charge currently pending against Kanu at the Federal High Court in Abuja borders on terrorism, treasonable felony, unlawful possession of firearms and management of an unlawful society. 

Malami, whose office is prosecuting the case, alleged that Kanu had since 2017, after he jumped bail, committed more offence. 

“He has, upon jumping bail, been accused of engaging in subversive activities that include inciting violence through television, radio and online broadcasts against Nigeria and Nigerian State and institutions. 

“Kanu was also accused of instigating violence especially in the Southeastern Nigeria that resulted in the loss of lives and property of civilians, military, para military, police forces and destruction of civil institutions and symbols of authorities”, Malami told newsmen in Abuja. 

In a chat with Saturday Vanguard, a lead prosecutor at the Federal Ministry of Justice, revealed that FG would apply for leave of the trial court to amend the charge currently pending against Kanu 

“I can confirm to you that the charge will be amended. Many things have happened since 2017 when the Defendant jumped bail. 

“He has a lot of explanations to give to the court concerning the offence for which he is standing trial and offences he has committed since the time he jumped bail. 

“There are fresh facts and evidence the Prosecution believe should be brought before the court. 

“Don’t forget that the charge has also been amended in the past”, the Prosecutor who craved anonimity added. 

The government lawyer further revealed that some arrested members of IPOB’s  Eastern Security Network, ESN, may likely be transferred to detention facilities in Abuja to be used as witnesses in Kanu’s trial. 

“Most of the ESN members that were arrested from various parts of the South East have already volunteered useful information that will assist the case”, the Prosecutor added. 

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, had on Thursday, said the Federal Government would go after highly-placed Nigerians that collaborated with Kanu, irrespective of their standing in the country. 

According to him, “None of Kanu’s collaborators, irrespective of their standing in society will be spared. 

“They will all face the full wrath of the law for their activities that challenge our nation’s sovereignty and threaten its unity. No one, no matter how highly placed, is bigger than the country.” 

The Minister however hacknowledged that FG received calls for Kanu to be accorded fair hearing. 

“It is interesting that many are suddenly calling for a fair trial for Kanu as if he didn’t get one before he decided to jump bail and flee. 

“However, I can assure you that the fair deal that Kanu denied many of the victims of the violence which he instigated through his broadcasts and tweets will not be denied him”, the Information Minister added. 

Earlier, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in a letter dated April 26, 2021, which was addressed to western diplomats, listed the alleged sins of Kanu, insisting that he orchestrated the killing of 60 persons and destruction of property in 55 violent attacks across the South-East and South-South zones within four months. 

In the letter, FG listed the alleged atrocities committed by members of IPOB on the instruction of Kanu who was then in exile. 

One of the attachments to the letter, cited the attacks on lives and property by IPOB and its militia arm, ESN, in some parts of the country between January and April 2021. 

FG maintained that statement by a foreign agency that ESN was created to combat insecurity, amounted to attempt to justify “the establishment of a militia by a non-state actor”. 

The letter read in part: “In under four months this year, IPOB has carried out over fifty-five violent acts in various parts of South-East Nigeria killing scores of people and destroying many properties. 

“As recently as 22nd April, 2021, broadcasting online from his base in London, Mr Kanu issued a series of instructions to his militia and other members of the outlawed organisation, on  acts of violence to be  carried out within the territory of Nigeria.” 

It alleged that Kanu had in one of his broadcasts stated thus: “Our madness has just begun”. 

According to FG, Kanu issued instructions from abroad using Radio Biafra, while IPOB members carried them out in Nigeria. 

The letter listed attacks FG insisted was coordinated by IPOB members in the S-East, S-South zones as: 

Abia: Between January 26 and April 19, 2021, six policemen were killed while property worth huge sums were destroyed by IPOB members in coordinated attacks at Uratta junction, Aba North LGA; Omoba Police Station, Isiale-Ngwa South LGA; Abriba Community in Ohafia LGA, and Uzuakoli Police Station in Bende LGA. 

Akwa Ibom: 25 persons, including security personnel were killed in deliberate attacks on different locations across the state, between January 27 and April 19, 2021. 

Cross River: Seven police officers were killed at Calabar-Ikom highway in Obubra and Yakur LGAs on March 2, 2021, while a soldier was killed two days later on March 4 at a military checkpoint at Obubra Junction in Obubra LGA. 

Delta: Between January 10 And April 14, IPOB members attacked and killed 11 persons including security personnel in Ughelli, Ndokwa East, Ezza South, Onicha, Ezza North, Ohaozara, Ohoukwu, LGAs. 

Enugu: Three policemen were killed in attacks on different locations across the state between February 28 and April 18. 

Imo: Between January 3 and April 24, 2021, IPOB members killed seven persons and injured many others in different attacks in Orlu, Obouo, Aboh Mbaise, Chitte Uboma, Isiala Mbano, Owerri, Njaba, Mbatoli, Oru East LGAs. 

Rivers: On April 17, 2021, IPOB operatives killed an NSCDC operative on guard duty at Shell crude oil manifold in Elelewon village in Obio/Akpor LGA and injured many others. 

Meanwhile, the legal team of the detained IPOB leader has requested to be allowed access to him. 

Kanu, who was “intercepted” and returned back to the country last Sunday, was on Tuesday, remanded in custody of the Department of State Service. 

Trial Justice Binta Nyako made the remand order after she fixed July 26 for accelerated trial. 

Barely 24 hours after the remand order was issued, Kanu’s legal team led by Mr. Ifeanyi Ejiofor, wrote the Director-General of the DSS, demanding to be allowed to visit their client. 

In the letter dated June 30, which was signed by Habila Tushak, the defence team, said the visit would enable them to effectively prepare Kanu’s defence to the charge marked FHC/ABJ/CR/383/15

“Considering the nature of this case, we kindly suggest the 30/6/2021, 1/7/2021 and 2/7/2021 for the visit, subject to your convenience”, the letter from Kanu’s defence team further read.

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