The leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra and founder of Radio Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, been produced in court for his arraignment on treason charges and other offences bordering on his agitation for the secession of the Republic of Biafra from Nigeria.
He is being arraigned along with two others – Benjamin Madubugwu and David Nwawuisi – before Justice James Tsoho.
Earlier on December 23, 2015, when Kanu and the two co-accused were produced in court for arraignment, the IPOB leader refused to take his plea due to what he called his lack of confidence in the presiding judge, Justice Ahmed Mohammed.
Justice Mohammed had then returned the case file to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court who thereafter re-assigned the case to Justice Tsoho.
Kanu has been in the custody of the Department of State Service since October 14, 2015, the day he was arrested in a Lagos hotel, on the allegation that he was plotting the secession of Republic of Biafra from Nigeria.
The charges against the accused persons read in part, “That you, Nnamdi Kanu and other unknown per sons, now at large, at London, United Kingdom, between 2014 and September, 2015 with intention to levy war against Nigeria in order to force the President to change his measures of being the President of the Federation, Head of State and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federation as defined in Section 3 of the Constitution of the Federal Re- public of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) by doing an act to wit: Broadcast on Radio Biafra your preparations for the states in the South- East geo-political zone, South-South geo-political zone, the Igala Community of Kogi State and the Idoma/Igede Community of Benue State to secede from the Federal Republic of Nigeria and form themselves into a Republic of Biafra, and thereby committed an offence punish- able under Section 41(C) of the Criminal Code Act, CAP C38 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.”
“That you, Nnamdi Kanu and others, now at large, between 2012 and September, 2015 at South-East geo-political zone and the South-South geo-political zone of Nigeria within the jurisdiction of this honourable court manage an unlawful society with more than 10 members to wit: unregistered with the Corporate Affairs Commission or any other registration authority to wit. The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) thereby committed an offence which is punishable under Section 63 of the Criminal Code Act, CAP C38, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.”
“That you, Nnamdi Kanu between the months of March and April, 2015 imported into Nigeria and kept in Ubulusiuzor town in Ihiala local Government Area of Anambra State within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, a radio transmitter known as TRAM 5OL concealed in a container which you described as containing household items, which you so declared and that, you thereby committed an offence punishable under section 47(2) (a) of the Customs and Excise Management Act.”
The three were, in counts four and five, accused of assisting in the management of unlawful society and unlawful possession of firearms.
Count six reads, “That you Benjamin Madubugwu in the month of April, 2015 at Ubulusiuzor town, Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State of Nigeria within the juris- diction of this honourable court assisted in the man- agement of an unlawful society known as the In- digenous People of Biafra (IPOB) by doing an act to wit, accepted and kept in your residence a container housing a radio transmit- ter known as TRAM 50L, with knowledge that the said transmitter belongs to an unlawful society (known as IPOB) and that you thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 63 of the Criminal Code Act, CAP C38 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.”