Sahara Reporter exclusively reports that Nnamdi Kanu, the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), would have regained his freedom, but for Imo State politics and the forthcoming governorship election in the state.
Kanu, the leader of the separatist group, was abducted on June 19, 2021, from Nairobi airport in Kenya and then detained and tortured for about 10 days in Kenya.
Since Kanu was brought to Nigeria to face trial for terrorism charges, he has been detained in solitary confinement at the headquarters of the Department of State Services, Nigeria’s secret police, in the capital city, Abuja.
Sources in the Presidency told SaharaReporters on Friday that President Bola Tinubu would have ordered the release of Kanu, but he was advised against doing so at this time by some politicians close to him.
SaharaReporters learned that Tinubu was advised to hold on till after the Imo State governorship election scheduled for November 11, 2023, as Kanu’s release before then could have political implications in the Southeast region.
“The release of Nnamdi Kanu was stalled by the Southeast politics of Imo. They claimed to Tinubu that his release might affect the election in Imo, so the president waited,” one of the sources told SaharaReporters.
The Court of Appeal discharged Kanu of the counts filed against him in October 2022. The appellate court subsequently barred any further arrest, detention, or trial of Kanu by the agents of the government.
The federal government later appealed against the judgment at the Supreme Court and subsequently got another panel of the Court of Appeal to stay the judgment of the appellate court.
Despite the judgments in favor of Kanu, he has remained in solitary confinement at the facility of the DSS.