Shortly after an Abuja Magistrate’s Court discharged a director of Biafra Radio and leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Mr. Nnamdi Kanu, security operatives immediately arrested him, apparently to re-arraign him before a High Court of competent jurisdiction.
But his re-arrest also sparked some protests among the Igbo in the Alaba market area of Lagos, despite a previous warning from the ruling All Progressives Congress, against such an act.
The Chief Magistrate, Mr. Shuaibu Usman, of Wuse zone 2, Abuja, had on Wednesday discharged Kanu on all counts of criminal conspiracy and ownership of an unlawful society brought against him by the Federal Government.
After holding that the government had dropped the charges against Kanu, the judge ruled: “The accused person is hereby discharged and the case struck out.”
The government, through its agent, the Department of State Services, had elected to withdraw the case at the lower court for a higher court, which had jurisdiction to entertain charges bordering on terrorism, to take over. Usman was scheduled to deliver judgment on the application of the DSS on December 1, but he put it off until December 16.
The DSS has held Kanu for at least 90 days despite an order of the magistrate court granting him bail in October. After the lower court granted him bail, the secret police got an order of the Federal High Court, Abuja, to keep the leader of IPOB in detention. But his lawyer, Vincent Obetta, filed a counter application, seeking bail for the accused person.
A wave of protests, engineered by IPOB, had swept through the South-East a few days ago owing to the continued detention of Kanu. IPOB is demanding an immediate and unconditional release of its leader.
Members of the IPOB had on Wednesday protested at the Alaba International Market in Lagos. The protesters chanted anti-government songs, demanding the release of Kanu. They defied the warning of the APC which asked them to steer clear of the state.