The Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice has insisted that the rearrest of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, was carried out with strict compliance with the legal process.
This was disclosed by the Special Assistant to the Minister on Media and Public Relations, Jibrilu Gwandu, in a telephone interview with Punch on Friday.
Gwandu said Kanu was represented by his counsel throughout the judicial process that led to the grant of his earlier bail.
The IPOB leader who faces an 11-count charge bothering on treason, treasonable felony, terrorism and illegal possession of firearms, among others, jumped bail in 2017 and left the country, only to re-emerge in Israel and then in the United Kingdom.
Kanu was rearrested on Tuesday. He was initially arrested in late 2015 after clamouring for the succession of the in South-East region of Nigeria to form Biafra.
He was re-arraigned before a Federal High Court in Abuja on Tuesday and ordered to be remanded in the custody of the DSS, while the case was adjourned till July 26 and July 27.
Gwandu said “Bench warrant was lawfully and judiciously procured through judicial process by a competent court of law, whose bail conditions he breached with impunity.
“He (Nnamdi Kanu) has been represented by a counsel all through the judicial process and was never denied a right of choice of counsel or recourse to one, even when he symbolises a proscribed association (IPOB) in law and, in fact, his association has been legally proscribed.
“So, there was no illegality in the entire process.”
Gwandu also told one of our correspondents that although the Office of the AGF had a meeting with the British High Commissioner on Thursday, the IPOB leader’s rearrest was not discussed.
“The legality or otherwise of Nnamdi Kanu’s arrest was not discussed in the meeting. I sent you a press release on the issues that were discussed. The meeting was scheduled long before the arrest,” he said.
Reports earlier said the United Kingdom would seek clarification from the Federal Government on the circumstances and legality of Kanu’s rearrest.
The Head of Communications, British High Commission, Mr Dean Hurlock, had stated this while responding to enquiries from one of our correspondents on Wednesday.
The Office of the AGF, in a statement on Thursday, also stated that the AGF, Abubakar Malami (SAN), had a meeting with British High Commissioner, Catriona Laing, adding that the issues discussed were the Electoral Act amendment, Petroleum Industry Bill, and Twitter ban.
The Federal Government explained that security and intelligence agencies were on the trail of Kanu for over two years before he was rearrested, saying the IPOB leader was detained again on Sunday – without giving details on the location of his arrest.
This post was written by Obiajulu Joel Nwolu.
The views expressed here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect our views and opinions.