Nigerian separatist leader Kanu’s trial due to resume

Report Focus News - Nnamdi Kanu at the federal high court in Abuja on January 20, 2016

Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), which is agitating for the breakaway of southeastern Nigeria, is due to return to a court in the capital, Abuja, on Wednesday.

The charges against Mr Kanu, a British citizen, include calling for secession, knowingly broadcasting falsehoods about President Muhammadu Buhari and being a member of an outlawed group.

During the last hearing in October, Mr Kanu’s lawyers said they had an application opposing the charges, most of which refer to Radio Biafra broadcasts made outside Nigeria.

The military considers Mr Kanu’s Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) a terrorist organisation.

The IPOB wants the south-east part of their country, the homeland of the Igbo ethnic group, to split from Nigeria. An attempt to secede in 1967 as the Republic of Biafra triggered a three-year civil war that killed more than one million people.

Mr Kanu was first arrested in 2015, but jumped bail in April 2017 after accusing the Nigerian army of invading his home and attempting to kill him.

His Radio Biafra broadcasts outraged the government, which said that they encouraged attacks on security forces.

He was rearrested in June after being repatriated from an undisclosed country.

His lawyers and family members alleged he was detained and mistreated in Kenya before being taken to Nigeria, though Kenya has denied involvement.

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