Biafra separatist leader released on bail


The leader of a group calling for secession of an area in south-east Nigeria, formerly Biafra, was released on bail after being detained for nearly two years, his lawyer said.

Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) campaign group, had been held at Kuje prison in Abuja since his arrest in October 2015 on charges of criminal conspiracy and belonging to an illegal society.

A wave of IPOB demonstrations took place in south-east Nigeria in late 2015 and early 2016 following Kanu’s arrest.

Secessionist feeling has simmered in the region since the Biafra separatist rebellion tipped the country into a civil war from 1967 to 1970 that killed an estimated million people.
“Nnamdi Kanu has been released this evening and he has left Kuje prison,” his lawyer Ifeanyi Ejiofo said. The release took place because bail conditions had been met.

The trial judge said bail was granted on health grounds. Kanu’s next court hearing is set for July.

Amnesty International last year accused Nigerian security forces of killing at least 150 peaceful Biafra separatists at rallies, which the military and police denied.