Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (Ipob) has been in detention since June 2021, when he was arrested and extradited to Nigeria to face charges of treason and terrorism. His trial has been adjourned several times and has sparked protests and clashes between his supporters and security forces.
On August 22, 2023, the Supreme Court of Nigeria adjourned Kanu’s case to October 21, 2023, after his lawyers filed a motion challenging the jurisdiction of the court to hear the case.
The adjournment of Kanu’s case has been criticized by Ipob, which accused the Supreme Court of using delay tactics to subvert justice and prolong Kanu’s detention. Ipob also alleged that Kanu’s health was deteriorating in custody and that he was being denied access to proper medical care.
Ipob has been calling for a boycott of all economic activities in the south-east region of Nigeria every Monday until Kanu is released. The group has also threatened to enforce a sit-at-home order on October 1, 2023, which is Nigeria’s Independence Day.
However, Kanu’s lawyer, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, has distanced himself from the sit-at-home order and urged Ipob members to ignore Simon Ekpa, a self-acclaimed deputy leader of Ipob, who announced the order on social media. Ejiofor said that Ekpa was not authorized to speak for Kanu or Ipob and that he was a serial fraudster who was using Kanu’s health to deceive Igbos.
Ejiofor also said that Kanu had authorized him to speak on his behalf and that he was the only person who could communicate Kanu’s wishes and directives to Ipob members and the public. He said that Kanu had instructed him to appeal to his supporters to remain peaceful and law-abiding and not to engage in any violence or confrontation with security agents.
Ejiofor also confirmed that Kanu was allowed to see a medical surgeon on August 21, 2023, after he complained of pains in his heart. He said that Kanu was still undergoing medical examinations and tests and that he hoped that he would be granted bail on health grounds.
Kanu’s trial has attracted international attention and condemnation from human rights groups and activists, who have accused the Nigerian government of violating his rights and due process. They have also called for his immediate and unconditional release.