It is no longer news that Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) is currently in custody. Nnamdi Kanu was rearrested in June 2021 and has been in DSS custody awaiting his day in court. The IPOB leader is facing charges bordering on treasonable felony instituted against him at the Federal High Court in Abuja, by the Nigerian Government led by Muhammadu Buhari in response to years of campaign for the Independent Republic of Biafra through IPOB.
For the new year, there are hopes that the IPOB leader will finally regain his freedom. A new declaration by a cleric might just have added more fire to that hope. Popular Nigerian cleric, who is also the Spiritual Director of the Adoration Ministry in Enugu, Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka has released his thoughts on Nnamdi Kanu.
Speaking on Saturday, Fr Mbaka said the year 2022 will be for Nnamdi Kanu as God will show him and other agitators’ mercy. Fr Mbaka made this declaration as he gave his 2022 New Year message during the crossover night service at the Adoration Ground in Emene, Enugu.
The cleric, who intensified prayers for the IPOB leader and other agitators under incarceration in various prisons, stated that he sees the IPOB leader as his son. According to the words of Fr Mbaka;
“I am begging my fellow priests to stop condemning me for praying for Nnamdi Kanu. I am not closing any priest’s mouth and nobody should close my own. If I use my mouth to bless Nnamdi Kanu and you don’t like it, please use your own mouth to curse him. Leave me to bless him.
“I see Nnamdi Kanu as my son. Every Igbo man and woman is my child. You may not understand the spiritual authority I have on this land.
“If as a church, we can be praying for Nigeria in distress, nobody can stop us from praying for Nnamdi Kanu and our brothers in distress. This year will be for Nnamdi Kanu and those held for agitations. God will show them mercy this year.”
While the cleric said Nnamdi Kanu will be shown mercy in 2022, an Igbo group known as Ohanaeze Ndigbo has disclosed what they will do if Nnamdi Kanu is not released this year. According to Ohanaeze, if the IPOB leader is not released this year, it is ready to boycott the 2023 general elections. The group called on President Muhammadu Buhari to release Nnamdi Kanu so that peace, security and stability can return back to the South-Eastern Nigeria.
According to the statement of Ohaneze; “President Muhammadu Buhari should release Nnamdi Kanu in 2022 to authorize peace, security, and stability to return to the south eastern Nigeria.
“But if Nnamdi Kanu is not released in 2022 as being championed by Northern leadership (Arewa Consultative Forum and Northern Elders Forum), there will be no 2023 election in south Eastern Nigeria with the evidence of sit-at-homes in the South East and it will deteriorate the security challenges of Southern Nigeria.
“Buhari cannot shy away from releasing Nnamdi Kanu, it will help to obliterate the negative impression of Nigeria in the eyes of the international community, and restore the dignity of Nigeria, and re-admit her amongst the commit of nations.
“In 2023, we are committed to a Nigerian President of Igbo extraction as a result of addressing the equity, fairness and obeying the agreement of rotational presidency reached by Nigeria’s patriots in 1999, which has helped to stabilize the country.
“We will commence the political journey of 2023 with persuasive visits to all the geopolitical zones of the country by January 13, 2023. But in the case of conspiracy, sabotage, and denial of Igbo the 2023 presidential tickets in APC and PDP, both the conspirators and the saboteurs will only be available to vote because no south easterners will be allowed to vote.
We will make sure secessionist groups like IPOB is strengthened and unified by the evidence of political neglect, marginalization, and enslavement of Eastern Nigeria,” the statement concluded.
With more voices calling for Nnamdi Kanu’s release, it begs to wonder if the IPOB leader has any hope of being set free amid the charges leveled against him. While Nigerians await to see how that goes it is important to note that days ago, Barr Ifeanyi Ejiofor, who is the lead counsel to Nnamdi Kanu disclosed that a yet-to-be mentioned senior attorney will henceforth lead the defence team of the IPOB leader.
According to Barr Ifeanyi Ejiofor, a visit to Nnamdi Kanu was described as “a surprise Christmas present” with the inclusion of the lawyer he called a “legal giant, a consummate member of the Inner Bar, a legal Iroko, who has distinguished himself in the practice of law.”
The lead counsel who did not disclose who this new lawyer is, said that the person will henceforth be in the frontline of Nnamdi Kanu’s legal battle against the Nigerian government.
According to the words of Barr Ifeanyi Ejiofor; “We have opted to desist from publicizing to you our legal exploits for certain salutary reasons. It has also become necessary that we show such restraint because of the presence of moles who have infiltrated and literally taken over the social media space.”
His statement after the visit reads; “We paid our routine visit to our untiring, unwavering, unrelenting, rock-solid and noble client, Onyendu Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, yesterday, at the DSS detention facility at Abuja. The visit, this time, was spectacular and was greeted by an infectious air of camaraderie. Onyendu Mazi Nnamdi Kanu was particularly enthused by the visit and preferred to describe it as ‘A Surprise Christmas Present’.
“You may not understand the peculiarity of this visit and how significant it is. But in due course, I am certain you will be in the best position to fully appreciate the wisdom that informed it. Suffice it to say that as the lead attorney of Onyendu, I took advantage of the visit to unveil a legal giant, a distinguished and an accomplished member of the Inner Bar, whom I have chosen to fortify our defence team.
“The learned senior counsel is an excellent and a consummate learned gentleman, distinguished in academics and in the practice of law in our law courts. The reason that informed this arrangement is my unflinching desire to throw in every weapon in our arsenal to ensure that Onyendu gets the best at all times.
“This latest masterstroke, evident in the legal giant that has intervened, came to Onyendu as a big surprise. Although he was not oblivious of my arrangement to enlist the assistance and co-operation of a senior attorney, he did not know that I could get a senior attorney of the rarest breed. He was particularly delighted to welcome this legal giant, a consummate member of the Inner Bar, a legal Iroko, who has distinguished himself in the practice of law when we visited him yesterday.
“I must state here and now that the senior attorney involved has been my mentor over the years. He has worked from the sidelines with our legal team since 2016. He is a man imbued with profound intellect, legal sophistry, an infectious sense of history, much like Onyendu, and of impeccable character. His brilliance radiates effortlessly. He is indeed an excellent advocate.
“The stage which we have attained in the court gymnastics involving Onyendu signposts an auspicious time at which to introduce the leading and erudite member of the Inner Bar to our defence team. Henceforth, he will lead our defence team in proceedings in court.”
“The mere fact that we do not publicize our legal interventions in the social media space does not mean that we are not taking concrete and effective steps to secure the release of all those unjustly detained. I assure you that we have been taking effective steps and implementing concrete measures geared towards that,” Barr Ifeanyi Ejiofor concluded.