- Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the proscribed IPOB, has been freed by the appeal court sitting in Abuja after his second arrest and detainment in 2017
- The IPOB leader's release has escalated jubilations in some parts of the southeast, particularly in Imo state, and Ohanaeze Ndigbo speaks of fresh air at last
- However, Kanu made some controversial statements before his arrests, which included death threats to former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Pastor Kumuyi, among others
There was jubilation about the ruling of the Court of Appeal that freed the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu.
Ohanaeze's reaction to Nnamdi Kanu's release
The Igbo apex socio-political group, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has described the discharge as a welcome development.
The vice president of the organization, Daniel Okeke-Ogene, said the southeast region is now free from further headaches.
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The IPOB leader was first arraigned on December 23, 2015, and granted bail on April 25, 2017.
Why was Nnamdi Kanu arrested?
However, Kanu has made some controversial comments in the past that sprung some controversies about him.
These controversies spanned around hate speech and death threats that were published across the media.
“We need guns and we need bullets”
In September 2015, Kanu was reported to have said the IPOB needs guns and bullets, a reference to armed conflict.
The freedom fighter made the statement in a heated address to the World Igbo Congress in Loss Angeles.
The address was cited in part by BBC News Pidgin and a paper titled:
“Hate speech and political media discourse in Nigeria: The case of the Indigenous People of Biafra.”
The paper was written by Innocent Chiluwa (Covenant University); Rotimi Taiwo (Obafemi Awolowo University); and Esther Ajiboye (Covenant University) and published on ResearchGate.
“You must come out to support what we are doing. We need guns, and we need bullets...To kill somebody is very difficult for us, so to ask a gathering of Igbo people that we need guns and bullets, and weapons would be very very difficult to address, but without it, Hausa people will barrage us.”
Kanu threatens Pastor Kumuyi’s life
In 2015, the IPOB made a threat to the life of William Kumuyi, the Deeper Christian Life Ministry (DCLM) superintendent.
Following the cleric’s comment that Nigeria will remain united, Kanu reportedly said:
“Pastor Kumuyi should be stoned and dealt with thoroughly if he comes to Abia for his planned crusade.”
Kanu’s response to Obasanjo's comment on IPOB
In 2015, the secessionist was reported to have allegedly made a death threat to former president Olusegun Obasanjo.
Kanu, in a video that was used in an edited video published by Sahara Reporters, told some of his supporters in his home that if any harm is melted to him, Obasanjo and his lineage should be eliminated.
The IPOB leader was reacting to a statement credited to the former head of state at a gathering in Abuja that the government must do everything to stop IPOB.
Nigeria should prepare for war
Kanu reportedly sent a message to Nigeria to prepare for war as they are coming to annihilate the country.
The statement was part of the argument of an anti-IPOB group that claimed that one person reportedly died during an argument about Nigeria’s secessionist activities in India.
The statement reads in part:
“Nigeria should prepare for war, we are coming to annihilate you, my secret service are already studying the zoo and strategizing.”
Nnamdi Kanu: IPOB leader discharged, not acquitted, says AGF Malami
Legit.ng earlier reported that the AGF Abubakar Malami has reacted to the decision of the Appeal Court to discharge the leader of IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu.
In a statement signed by his spokesperson, Malami said the appeal court only discharged Kanu and did not acquit him.
The chief law officer of the federation noted that the IPOB leader has other pre-rendition cases to answer.