The leader of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) and director of Radio Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, has left Kuje prison in Abuja after spending close to two years of detention by the Nigerian government. A prison source told Saharareporters left the prison yard a few minutes ago after fulfilling his bail conditions, his co-defendants in a treason trial remained in detention.
Earlier this week, a Federal High Court in Abuja, citing concerns about Mr. Kanu’s health, granted bail to the separatist agitator on stringent conditions.
Three sources told SaharaReporters that Mr. Kanu’s immediate release followed a series of negotiations between a few politicians and activists from the Igbo-dominated southeast geopolitical zone and members of President Muhammadu Buhari’s government. Speaking on condition of anonymity, one of the sources, a close associate of Mr. Buhari’s administration, disclosed that one of the central concerns of the negotiations was to find ways of de-escalating the political tension that has arisen due to renewed agitation by pro-Biafra separatists led by Mr. Kanu and others.
A prison source revealed that Kuje prison authorities released Mr. Kanu’s a few minutes ago adding that the paperwork to realize the separatist leader’s release was finalized by Mr. Kanu’s lawyers and government officials.
According to the prison source, Mr. Kanu, whose fiery rhetoric included describing Nigeria as a zoo and threatening to amass weapons with which to achieve Biafran secession, was celebrated by fellow detainees and prisoners at Kuje who had one favor or another to ask him once he was released from prolonged detention.
Mr. Kanu, who has gained greater popularity during his detention, is expected to meet with several politicians and activists to discuss the future of his plans to achieve the secession of Biafra, a swathe of Nigeria’s southeastern territory that is predominantly home to the Igbo. As part of his bail conditions, Mr. Kanu has been barred from granting press interviews or being in a gathering of more than 10 people.
One of our sources said he was confident that Mr. Kanu left Kuje prison “today, once his bail papers are processed.”