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The British High Commission has reacted to reports that Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) was arrested in the UK.
Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami had on Tuesday told journalists that Kanu was extradited to the country on Sunday to face trial.
Malami added that the IPOB leader was arrested based on a collaborative effort between “Nigerian intelligence and Security Services”.
He however did not reveal details of where the self-acclaimed Biafra leader was arrested, leaving it open to multiple questions such as the legal framework applied for his arrest.
Kanu’s arrest had since stirred controversy as the IPOB leader, who is also a UK citizen, had been in the UK since 2017 when he fled Nigeria.
However, in a report by TheCable, Dean Hurlock, a spokesperson of the British High Commission, confirmed that Kanu was not picked up in the UK where he is based.
“We can confirm that Nnamdi Kanu was not arrested in the UK for extradition purposes,” he said via text message.
P.M. News is however reporting that Kanu was arrested in Czech Republic where he was lured to procure arms.
“Government sources told P.M. News that he was lured to the country to receive a donation of weapons to IPOB’s Eastern Security Network (ESN)” the news agency said in its report.
“He was lured there to come and take a large donation of arms.”
Nnamdi Kanu was first arrested in October 2015 on charges of criminal conspiracy and belonging to an illegal society.
He was freed on bail on medical grounds in April of that year but has not been seen in Nigeria since an army raid on his house five months later.
Kanu has not attended court dates since then but images of him in Israel surfaced on social media in October last year, he then left for the United Kingdom.
In December 2020, Kanu announced the formation of the Eastern Security Network (ESN), a regional security force. Kanu later gave all the governors of southeast Nigeria 14 days to ban open-grazing, threatening to deploy the ESN to enforce a ban if the authorities did not do so.
The Nigerian army and air force renewed hostilities on February 18 by launching a military offensive against the ESN.