Nnamdi Okwu Kanu, self-acclaimed leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) founded the separatist group in 2014, with the aim to create an independent state for the people of old Eastern Region of Nigeria through an independent referendum.
Kanu is also the director of a UK registered radio station named Radio Biafra.
On 14 October 2015, Kanu was arrested on treason charges in Lagos, Nigeria and was detained for close to two years, despite various court orders that ruled in favour of his release.
A wave of IPOB demonstrations took place in southeast Nigeria in late 2015 and early 2016 following Kanu’s arrest.
Kanu was released on bail on Friday April 28 2017 after being detained for nearly two years. The trial judge said the bail was granted on health grounds.
Kanu disappeared in September 2017 following the deployment of troops to the southeastern city of Umuahia. The pro-Biafra separatist was later seen in Jerusalem on October 19.
He made a Facebook broadcast on October 21 where he said he left Nigeria because he could not get the necessary protection from the court.
“I did not jump bail, I left because the court failed to protect me,” kanu said.
Kanu lost her mother, Sally Kanu on August 30 2019 in Germany after a protracted illness. Mr Kanu, who announced his mother’s death linked the Nigerian government to the death, citing alleged soldiers’ invasion of his Umuahia, Abia State residence in September 2017.
Four months after his mother Ugoeze Sally Kanu, Eze Israel Kanu the father of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu was reported dead on December 6, 2019. Eze Kanu was the traditional ruler of Afara Ukwu Umuahia community till his death.
On Tuesday, 29 June, 2021, the Nigeria Government announced that the fugitive has been arrested and extradited to Nigeria after about four years of globetrotting.
The Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and the Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami on Tuesday said the leader of the proscribed IPOB was arrested on Sunday.
Malami, who addressed a press conference at the Ministry of Justice, Abuja, disclosed that Kanu was arrested through the joint efforts of the intelligence and security services and has been returned to Nigeria.
A Federal High Court, Abuja has now ordered that Nnamdi Kanu be remanded in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS).
Kanu’s next date in court is July 26, according to Justice Binta Nyako’s order.