Nnamdi Kanu, a leader of the outlawed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), has denied ordering a house sit-in in the southeast on Tuesday, his lawyer, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, said on Saturday.
A Federal High Court in Umuahia, Abia State, set October 4 for the resumption of the hearing on the N25 billion fundamental rights lawsuit filed by Mr. Kanu.
The IPOB leader questions his arrest in Kenya by Nigerian security agents and his “expulsion” to Nigeria.
IPOB, which is leading the agitation for the creation of an independent state of Biafra from the southeast and some parts of the south-south, suspended Monday’s sit-at-home order, preferring that the order be implemented only on the days that Mr. Kanu appears in court.
There has been speculation that residents of the southeast would be forced to observe a stay-at-home order on Tuesday due to the looming court case in Abia.
But Mr. Ejiofor in a post on twitter He said that Mr. Kanu, who is often called “Onyendu”, will not appear in court and therefore there will be no house sit-ins in the region on that day.
Onyendu, an Igbo expression, means “the leader”.
The lawyer explained that the court in Abia is for Mr. Kanu’s fundamental rights lawsuit against the Nigerian government, and not the same with his terrorism charges in the Federal High Court in Abuja.
The attorney said the legal team received “strong instructions” from Kanu to make the clarification.
“As such, Onyendu did not order, approve or authorize anyone to declare a house sit-in on that date,” he said.
“Members of the general public are encouraged to conduct their normal business activities on such date.”
He said the clarification became “compelling and necessary” due to an “avalanche of misleading information on social media and a plethora of calls” from concerned residents of the region asking about the authenticity of Tuesday’s purported stay-at-home order. in the region. .
The lawyer said several other pending lawsuits, in various courts, filed against the government challenging Kanu’s alleged extraordinary rendition will be heard this week, but that a house sit-in will not be seen in the region as a result of the court sessions. .
Mr. Ejiofor assured people that the legal team would inform them whenever Mr. Kanu appeared in court in the continuation of his trial, which would require sitting at home in the region.
“Onyendu Mazi Nnamdi Kanu is going through his current ordeal because of his sincere desire to emancipate his people from any form of suffering or oppression,” he said.
“Therefore, there is no way that he supports anything that brings more hardship to the very people he is suffering for,” the lawyer added.
Kanu was first arrested in October 2015 and charged with treason and terrorism.
He was granted bail on medical grounds in 2017, but fled the country after his home in Afara-Ukwu, near Umuahia, Abia state, was invaded by military forces in September that year.
He was “intercepted” in Kenya in June last year by Nigerian security agents and taken back to Abuja.
The IPOB leader had filed a lawsuit with the Abuja Court of Appeal, urging it to drop charges of terrorism and treason against him.
The appellate court on September 13 reserved judgment on the lawsuit.
The court said a trial date would be communicated to both the government and Kanu.