BIAFRA protest in London
Pro-Biafra protesters during demonstration in London calling for Nnamdi Kanu's releaseIBTimes UK

Family members and supporters of controversial pro-Biafran leader Nnamdi Kanu have reacted with mixed feelings over the Abuja High Court's decision to free him. Although most of them reacted with relief when the court ruled that Kanu's prolonged detention was unlawful, many expressed concern as the Radio Biafra director was not in court at the time of the ruling.

Kanu's wife, Uchechi Okwu-Kanu, told IBTimes UK: "He has been released unconditionally but he was not brought to court. What have they done with my husband? I will wait till he's been seen. I am only worried at the rate the DSS is evading his presence to the public. I am now putting in a motion to look into his state of health asap as his life is in danger."

Mazi Mmaduabuchi Anyagulu, a member of Ipob, told IBTimes UK: "Yes, he has been granted an unconditional release by the federal high court. We await his arrival, until then, we can't rejoice.

"Kanu may have been acquitted of all charges levelled against him by the Nigeria DSS, which may decide to detain our leader against the orders of the court. Therefore, I cannot be joyful until I hear his voice over the radio again."

Others have pointed out that a number of leaders advocating for the independence of Biafra are still in prison and that the movement will not stop until independence is reached. Yahgozie Immanuel, editor of Biafra24, told IBTimesUK: "I am happy Kanu is being released, but what about charges against Benjamin Onwuka, leader of the Biafra Zionist Movement?"

Onwuka was arrested in 2014 after trying to carry out an attack on the State Broadcasting Service in Enugu state.

Terrorism charges

Kanu spent more than two months in jail since he was apprehended in Lagos in October by the DSS on charges of criminal conspiracy and belonging to an unlawful organisation.

The DSS refused to release him after the magistrates' court in Abuja granted him bail later that month. The DSS argued the conditions for bail were not met and obtained permission from the high court to detain Kanu for a further 90 days to investigate on alleged terrorism charges.

It later dropped the criminal charges but maintained the Biafran leader instigated terrorism. However, the high court ruled the prolonged detention of Kanu – leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (Ipob) – was unlawful.


Nigeria up close: Check out our Flipboard magazine