Nigerian court denies separatist leader bail

An attempt by Igbo separatists to secede as the Republic of Biafra in 1967 triggered a three-year civil war.

Nigeria Separatist Leader
Biafran separatist leader Nnamdi Kanu, centere right, speaks to his lawyers at the Federal High court in Abuja, Nigeria, January 29, 2016 [File: AP Photo]

A Nigerian court has denied a bail request for separatist leader Nnamdi Kanu who is standing trial for “terrorism” charges and broadcasting falsehoods, one of his defence lawyers told Reuters.

The court session was held on Wednesday on camera, according to new regulations for trials with charges of terrorism.

Kanu, a British citizen who leads the banned Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), is standing trial on seven counts of terrorism that the government has brought against him.

He has denied the charges, which are also linked to broadcasts he made between 2018 and last year.

IPOB, which Kanu founded in 2014, is pressing for the secession of a part of southeast Nigeria where the majority of the population is of Igbo ethnicity. Authorities view IPOB as a terrorist group.

An attempt by Igbo separatists to secede as the Republic of Biafra in 1967 – the year that Kanu was born – triggered a three-year civil war that killed more than one million people.

IPOB has ordered Igbos in the southeast to “sit-at-home”, a form of civil disobedience to show solidarity with Kanu since his arrest and trials in Abuja, crippling small businesses, and other economic activities.

Source: Reuters