The Special Counsel to Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Aloy Ejimakor has shed light on why Kanu was not arrested during the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.
Ejimakor explained that Jonathan did not perceive self-determination as a crime, which was why Kanu was not apprehended at that time.
Kanu was initially arrested in 2015 on charges related to treason, terrorism, and managing an unlawful society.
He faced legal proceedings but was granted bail in 2017 by Justice Binta Nyako of the Abuja Federal High Court. Following his release, Kanu left Nigeria for Europe.
However, he was subsequently rearrested in Kenya in 2021 and repatriated to Nigeria.
Since then, he has been held in custody by the Department of State Services (DSS) while his trial continues.
During the ‘Free Nnamdi Kanu’ conference in Washington, Aloy Ejimakor highlighted the international, domestic, and continental recognition of the right to self-determination.
He emphasized that the formation of IPOB did not violate any laws in the United Kingdom or Nigeria.
Ejimakor pointed out that the reason Kanu was not arrested between 2012 and 2015 was due to the understanding during that time that self-determination was not considered a crime.
However, he noted that the government that assumed power in May 2015 took a different stance, treating self-determination as a criminal activity.
As a result of the change in perspective towards self-determination, Kanu was apprehended in Lagos and charged with treason, illegal importation, and insulting the president.
Ejimakor’s statement at the conference sheds light on the contrasting approaches of the previous and current administrations regarding self-determination and its implications for Kanu’s arrest and legal proceedings.