The High Federal Court of Abuja has ordered the release of controversial director of Radio Biafra, Nammadi Kanu. He was arrested in October by the the state security service (DSS) on charges of criminal conspiracy and belonging to an unlawful organisation.
The DSS refused to release Kanu after the magistrates court in Abuja had granted him bail in October. The DSS argued the conditions for the 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.
The DSS later dropped the criminal charges against Kanu but maintained the Biafran leader instigated terrorism. However, the High court ruled that the prolonged detention of Kanu – leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (Ipob) – was unlawful.
However, Kanu's supporters and family members expressed concern as Kanu did not appear in court for the ruling. His 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. "
The ruling came as thousands of Ipob members are holding a two-day demonstration in Lagos, Nigeria's commercial hub. Protesters have been asking for the immediate and unconditional release of Kanu as well as the independence of Biafran territories that used to be part of a separate state before being annexed to Nigeria during the British colonisation.