The Nigerian government has slammed fresh criminal charges against the leader of the Indigenous People Of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, after he was released unconditionally by a Federal High Court on December 17.
Mr. Kanu’s counsel, Vincent Obeta, said the Federal Government filed the fresh charges on December 18 at the same court that granted him bail.
The fresh six-count charge, Mr. Obeta said, concerns allegations of treasonable felony, maintaining an unlawful society and illegal possession of items, among others.
The charges were filed by the office of the Attorney General of the Federation, and signed by the federal Director of Public Prosecution, Mohammed Diri.
The allegations include a plot by Mr. Kanu and some persons now at large to cause crises that might force the President and Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, to concede certain parts of Nigeria to a purported Biafra nation.
Mr. Kanu was also alleged to have been maintaining unlawful society and retaining items belonging to IPOB, among others.
The allegations, the charges said, contain offences punishable under sections 41 (C), and 63 of the criminal code act; as well as section 47(2) (a) of the Customs and Excise Management Act.
The other two persons jointly accused in the fresh charges are Benjamin Madubugwu and David Nwawuisi.
Justice Adeniyi Ademola had, in a December 17 ruling, faulted the action of the State Security Service in detaining Mr. Kanu for over two months, without trial.
Mr. Kanu’s release by the federal high court came a day after a Magistrate Court sitting in Abuja struck out all suits filed against him.
Magistrate Shuaibu Usman struck out all criminal charges levelled against Mr. Kanu after counsel to the State Security Services, Moses Idakwo, filed for discontinuation of the matter on the instruction of his client.
Mr. Usman said since the SSS, through its lawyer, had filed for a discontinuation of the case, he had no option than to discharge the accused.
But rather than release the Radio Biafra director following the separate rulings by the two courts, the SSS slammed fresh charges against him.
Mr. Kanu, who was arrested by the SSS as he returned to Nigeria, has been in detention since October.
Calls for his release led to demonstrations in several south east states.