There are some major facts and information about the popular Nigerian Nnamdi Kanu.
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Nnamdi Kanu was born on 25 September 1967 in Isiama Afara Ukwu, Umuahia, Abia State, within the claimed territory of the Republic of Biafra a few months after it had declared independence from Nigeria.
His father is Eze Israel Okwu Kanu (JP), and his mother, Ugoeze Nnenne Kanu.
He attended Library Avenue Primary School and went to Government College Umuahia for his secondary education.
He studied at University of Nigeria, Nsukka and moved to the UK before graduating.
Nnamdi Kanu is a Nigerian pro-Biafra political activist, who is also a British citizen.
He is the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). Kanu founded IPOB in 2014.
The main aim of IPOB is to restore the separatist state of Biafra which existed in Nigeria’s Eastern Region during the Nigerian Civil War of 1967–1970.
Nnamdi Kanu Early Activities
Nnamdi Kanu began his activities for the freedom of Biafra as a Radio Biafra director and anchor of Biafra awareness under Ralph Uwazuruike, leader of the Movement for the Actualisation of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB).
He said, while in a meeting in Kaduna state, Nigeria on June 12, 2014, that he handed over Radio Biafra to Nnamdi Kanu, leader of IPOB but Nnamdi Kanu disappointed him.
Radio Biafra however, was established by the defunct Biafran government in 1967 with the aim of championing the Biafran cause.
Nnamdi Kanu was a relatively obscure figure until 2009 when he started Radio Biafra, a station that called for an independent state for the Igbo people and broadcast to Nigeria from London.
In 2014, he founded IPOB. On 5 September 2015, Nnamdi Kanu was a guest speaker at the World Igbo Congress which was held in Los Angeles, where he told his audience “we need guns and we need bullets”.
Nnamdi Kanu Imprisonment
On 18 October 2015, it was reported that Kanu had been arrested in Lagos State by Nigeria’s secret police, the Department of State Services (DSS).
Nnamdi Kanu had told his solicitors that on 14 October 2015, he was arrested by the agents of the Federal Government of Nigeria, the State Security Service (SSS), in his hotel room at the Golden Tulip Essential Hotel Ikeja, Lagos State.
The solicitors in a press briefing said, between 14 and 17 October 2015 their client’s whereabouts were unknown until 18 October 2015, when the press media broke the news of his arrest and detention by the SSS in Abuja.
The news of the arrest of Kanu generated protests across Delta State, Enugu State, Rivers State, Cross River State, Abia State, Imo State, Akwa Ibom Sate, Bayelsa State and Anambra State.
On 19 October 2015, it was reported that Nnamdi Kanu had been granted bail after a secret arraignment at Magistrate Court, Wuse 11.
However, the bail seemed “controversial” and there were claims the DSS announced the bail only “to calm the angry people of Biafra”.
The Magistrate Court 1 sitting in Abuja on 18 November 2015 ordered the Department of State Services (DSS) to produce Kanu at the court on 23 November 2015.
However, it was reported the Department of State Services (DSS) obtained a “secret court order to detain Nnamdi Kanu”.
Nnamdi Kanu’s lawyer, Vincent Obetta, in an interview said whilst in court, the prosecutor gave him a document containing a court order permitting the Department of State Services (DSS) to detain Kanu for the next three months to “conclude what they said was an investigation of terrorism and terrorism financing”.
Kanu was finally arraigned on 23 November 2015 in an Abuja Magistrate Court for the first time for charges of “criminal conspiracy, intimidation and membership of an illegal organisation” by Nigeria’s Department of State Services (DSS). The charges violate “Section 97, 97B and 397” of Nigeria’s penal code.
Chief Magistrate S. Usman had, at the last adjourned date, berated the Department of State Services (DSS) over its failure to produce Kanu in court on the two consecutive times the matter came up before the court.
Meanwhile, Nnamdi Kanu’s supporters stormed Nigeria’s capital city of Abuja in luxury buses on a peaceful protest for their leader who was arrested by the Federal Government before the Wuse Zone 2 Magistrate Court, Abuja on 23 November 2015.
Pro-Biafra protesters with placards sang and danced outside the court premises whilst the hearing proceeded.
Protesters wore T-shirts and caps with inscriptions like “Biafra Now or Never”, “Buhari Release Kanu For Us”, “On Biafra We Stand”.
More protests by IPOB members numbering over 15,000 grounded vehicular movements in the southeastern key economic city of Onitsha concurrently. It was the same with over 20,000 protesters in Aba, Abia State on the same day.
Kanu, through his counsel, filed an application asking the federal authorities to transfer him from the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS) to prison.
His lawyer, Obetta, insisted that transferring his client to prison would enable him to have easy access to his legal team.
Whilst in court, the Department of State Services (DSS) requested the Wuse Zone 2 Senior Magistrates’ Court, to discontinue the trial of Nnamdi Kanu under section 108 of administration of criminal justice act 2015.
Idakwo further said the Department of State Services (DSS) had obtained an order from the Federal High Court, Abuja, dated 10 November, to detain the accused in its custody for 90 days.
However, Nnamdi Kanu’s lawyer Obetta objected to the continued detention of his client.
Obetta prayed the court not to discontinue the case because the prosecution did not present any information from the Attorney-General of Nigeria Federation who had the authority to approve such.
Obetta also told the court that “the DSS violated the order of the court which granted bail that was perfected but not granted, adding that the accused had been in Department of State Services (DSS) custody since he was arrested.”
The court’s magistrate, Usman Shuaibu, after listening to both counsels, adjourned the matter until 1 December 2015 for ruling.
Nnamdi Kanu’s Released
On 20 October 2015, Vanguard announced that Kanu had been released on bail. However, media sources supporting the objectives of IPOB called the bail “controversial” and claimed the DSS announced the bail only “to calm the angry people of Biafra”.
Nnamdi Kanu has finally been released on bail by Justice Binta Nyako for health reasons.
Kanu disappeared from public view after his home was raided by the Nigerian military, in September 2017, an event which led to the deaths of 28 IPOB members.
Not being seen in public for over a year, there was wide-ranging speculation regarding his whereabouts, with members of the IPOB accusing the Buhari government of having abducted him.
In October 2018, unattributed photographs and videos, apparently placing him in Israel, were widely circulated on social media, and this was later confirmed by mainstream media.
Despite him resurfacing, his exact location and living place continued to remain unclear over the next years.
Nnamdi Kanu’s Net Worth
Nnamdi Kanu’s net worth is estimated to be $15 million.