.Parents whereabouts still unknown
.Analysts decry silence of Ndigbo leaders, Ohaneze
.Court orders Sen. Abaribe to produce Kanu
.Kanu’s lawyer, IPOB leaders speak
The whereabouts of the self-acclaimed leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, has remained a mystery as nobody seems to know his whereabouts since the raid on his home in Umuahia, Abia State by the Nigerian Army in mid-September, 2017.
The whereabouts of Kanu’s parents since the raid also remained unknown, a situation that is now given room to all kinds of rumours.
The IPOB leader’s father, His Royal Highness, Eze Isreal Kanu is the traditional ruler of Afara Ukwu Ibeku Autonomous Community in Umuahia, Abia State.
Kanu, the leader of the proscribed group, has not been seen in public since he was arraigned alongside Ebere Onwudiwe, Benjamin Madubugwu, David Nwawusi and Bright Chimeze on a five-count charge treasonable felony before Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court in Abuja.
Though Justice Nyako granted bail to Kanu, she attached certain conditions to the temporary freedom. Some of the conditions include the restrain of Kanu from granting press interviews and a stern warning to the banned IPOB leader not to participate in any rally or be found in a crowd of more than 10 persons in the course of the bail.
But Kanu, who had built a reputation as a firebrand on Radio Biafra, a United Kingdom-based station run by IPOB, flouted all the bail conditions.
However, the bubble busted when the Nigerian Army on October 9, 2017, raided the Abia State home of Kanu.
IPOB was the first to raise the alarm announcing to the world that its leader was missing. According to the proscribed group, Kanu was in the custody of the military. It asked the Nigerian Army to produce him, dead or alive. But the Nigerian Army came up with a rebuttal, saying that Kanu was not in its custody.
Kanu’s lawyer, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, had also raised a similar alarm, insisting that Kanu was in the custody of the army.
But some analysts on Sunday, berated Igbo leaders, the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohaneze Ndigbo and Igbo elite over their silence on the fate that has befallen Kanu and his parents.
They accused the Igbo socio-cultural group of looking the other way while the whereabouts one of their sons, Nnamdi Kanu, who to a great extent championed the cause of the South East and his parents remain unknown.
One of the analyst, who is also a youth leader in Abia State who did not want his name in print, said: “The Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohaneze Ndigbo, has really let Kanu and his parents down. They appear to be more concerned with pursuing the restructuring agenda and other issues than asking the Federal Government and the security forces to come clean over the whereabouts of the IPOB leader and his parents. This is sad and must be urgently redressed. Ohaneze Ndigbo, Igbo leaders and elite should know that keeping quite over this matter has exposed the Igbo race to the ridicule of other ethnic groups as they now see the Igbos as people that care little about the well-being of a prominent son of theirs and his parents.
“For this not to continue, Ohaneze Ndigbo, Igbo leaders and the elite must speak up now or be prepared to face the wrath of the youths who Nnamdi Kanu represents”.
Meanwhile, the Federal High Court in Abuja had dismissed the suit filed by the proscribed IPOB, seeking an order to compel the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Buratai to produce Nnamdi Kanu in court to face his trial.
Justice Binta Nyako while ruling on a fundamental human rights enforcement suit brought by IPOB lawyer, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, ruled that the suit lacks merit.
She held that the suit was anchored on the doctrine of last seen. The judge said the doctrine of last seen is mostly used in murder cases. She however ruled that in the instant case, the affidavit attached to the application did not state that Buratai or any soldier was the last that saw Kanu before his disappearance.
The judge said, “In the entire affidavit, nowhere it was shown that the Chief of Army Staff, General Buratai or any soldier was the last that saw Nnamdi Kanu before he was declared missing.” She added that the suit lacked merit and dismissed it.
Justice Nyako further noted that IPOB was not the right person to make such complaint in a matter where Kanu had secured his bail thorough guarantors.
In the meantime, the senator representing Abia South Senatorial District, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, has denied the claim by the Federal Government that the Kanu was in his custody.
Abaribe had filed an application before the Federal High Court, seeking to withdraw his surety-ship after he was asked to produce Kanu in court at the next adjourned date.
The Federal Government had also responded to Senator Abaribe’s application seeking to withdraw as one of the sureties for Kanu, describing the application as too late.
But Abaribe in a reaction to a question on whether Kanu was actually in his custody, said he doesn’t know his whereabouts.
The Federal Government, however, stated in its counter-affidavit that Abaribe was aware that Kanu “has long violated the bail conditions handed down by this honourable court” on April 24, 2017 before September 11 when he claimed to have lost contact with Kanu.
The counter-affidavit reads in part: “That it was at this point at violating the conditions of the bail that the senator surety ought to surrender the 1st defendant and or bring up this application; that this application is belated and ill-timed;
“The applicant failed to apply to the court timeously, stating on oath that the defendant bound by recognizance to appear before this court had violated the bail condition given by this court.”
Meanwhile, some IPOB leaders have said that those that find it difficult to believe that the leadership of IPOB does not know whereabouts of Kanu are those refusing to believe that the Nigerian Army invaded Kanu’s residence and took him away.
Speaking on the condition of anonymity, following the sensitive nature of the matter, the IPOB leaders insisted that the the Defence Minister, General Mansur Dan Ali, confirmed on Channels TV during an interview that the federal government sent soldiers to invade the home of their leader and to ‘capture’ him.
One of the IPOB leaders said: “This same class of people are those that will always keep quiet in the face of evil, thereby emboldening Buhari regime to be more brutal, dictatorial and parochial.
“Every right thinking person knows the army went to kill Mazi Nnamdi Kanu on September 14, 2017 because there can never be any other plausible explanation as to why the army will truncate an ongoing judicial process by doing the work of the police.
“The question all right thinking people should ask the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) is this: Is it the duty of the army to be running round in armoured tanks looking for the enemies of Buhari to arrest? Nigerian Army, for those who might still be feigning ignorance of the fact, does not have the constitutional right to arrest anybody.
“Whenever soldiers arrest and molest people, as they normally do in Nigeria, they are breaking the law. That is what the Abdulsalami Abubakar 1999 Constitution says. But in Nigeria, law enforcement agencies and even the law courts don’t know what the constitution says. They are ignorant of their own laws including the judges in their courts.
“Those that invaded our leader’s residence went there to kill him, his family and parents, or else they would have waited for him to appear in court on October 17, 2017. Buratai and his soldiers are in the best position to answer any question regarding the whereabouts of our leader, especially at this time everybody, including non-Biafrans, are missing his inspirational leadership”.
The Daily Times recalls that the Federal High Court presided over by the Acting Chief Judge, Justice Abdul Kafatati, had proscribed IPOB as a terrorist organisation.
IPOB had pleaded with the court to set aside its order of September 20 last year which declared it a terrorist organisation.
The Federal Government had through the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), filed an application before Justice Abdul Kafarati, wherein it asked the court to declare IPOB a terrorist group.
But IPOB through its lawyer, Mr. Ifeanyi Ejiofor, filed a motion on notice, wherein he urged the court to invalidate its earlier order that tagged the pro-Biafra group a terrorist organisation.