A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Chief Mike Ozekhome has said the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, did not jump bail as alleged by the Muhammadu Buhari-led Nigerian Government.
The senior lawyer stated this in a video clip shared by the African Action Congress (AAC) presidential candidate during the 2023 election, Omoyele Sowore on his Twitter handle on Wednesday.
Ozekhome, who was speaking at a recent event, narrated how Kanu left the country in 2017 because of fear of being killed by the Nigerian Army.
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According to Ozekhome, the agitation of IPOB for a separate country was borne out of the marginalisation and oppression Igbo people have been subjected to by the Nigerian government.
The legal practitioner said, “Nnamdi Kanu, yes, he founded the Indigenous People of Biafra in 2012. His goals, if you read the Constitution, are clear.
“To give respect to the Igbo, to put them in a respectable position. If you don’t want to respect those Igbos, then let us separate peacefully; that is all. IPOB, we saw them. Beret-wearing, whistle-blowing, matching on the street. They were not violent. I saw them. I followed their tracks.
“Then it took Operation Python by the Nigerian Army between the 14th and 17th of September, 2017 to descend on his home, ancestral home at Afaraukwu Ibeku, Umahi, Abia State. They almost killed him. He escaped… he was then enjoying bail. But unprovoked, he was to be killed, he escaped… And he quickly reported and swore an affidavit before he went to London.”
“The Federal Government said he jumped bail. No Sir, no Ma. Nnamdi Kanu did not jump bail. He escaped to save his life. He would have been killed,” the lawyer added.
SaharaReporters had reported that Ozekhome described the self-determination struggle of IPOB led by Kanu as legally guaranteed in the laws.
Ozekhome who disclosed this in a keynote address at the Handshake Across The Niger 2, held in Enugu on Friday, called on President Muhammadu Buhari to order the immediate release of the incarcerated leader of Kanu.
Kanu was arrested and extraordinarily renditioned to Nigeria in June 2021. He has since been detained by the Department of State Services in Abuja.