Justice Nyako attaché the following conditions for Kanu’s temporary freedom:
*He must not grant press interviews
*He must no be in a crowd of more than 10 people
*He must provide three sureties in the sum of N100million each
*One of them must a highly placed Igbo extraction such as a Senator
*Another highly placed Igbo extraction with a landed property and resident in Abuja
*Highly place Jewish leader
*He is also to deposit his Nigerian and British passports and must submit progress of his health and treatment on a monthly basis to the court.
Kanu’s lawyers were unable to meet the bail conditions same day, leading to Kanu returning to the prison same day, while his lawyers promised to meet the bail conditions in 48 hours. And true to their promise, last Thursday, April27,to be precise, Kanu’s bail conditions were met, with South East Senate Caucus rallying round him and Senator EnyinnayaAbaribe, a prominent member of the Caucus, signing the bailbond.
Reprieve came Kanu’s way after a long battle for bail,indeed.
Undeterred by the temporary setback, he appealed against the January 29, last year’s ruling on his application for bail describing it as an abuse of court process and abreach of his fundamental human rights. Again the appellate court rejected his appeal on May 25, last year.
The bail conditions, which have beendescribed by many legal luminaries and legal watchers as the most stringent (not to say ridiculous) in the history of the judiciary in Nigeria, appeared insurmountable but prominent Igbo sons and daughters rose to the challenge and within a record time the bail conditions were met.
The group, it was gathered, met the same day Kanu was granted bail, in the house of the Deputy Senate President, who happens to be the South East Leader in the National Assembly, to discuss and agree on how to perfect the bail conditions.
The resolution of the South East Senators to get involved in the perfection of Kanu’s bail conditions was not surprising when situated against their earlier demands from President MohammaduBuhari in Aso Rock Vila in November last year. The South East Senate caucus had during meeting demanded among other things the unconditional release of the embattled IPOB leader from detention.
The solidarity spirit the IPOB leader enjoyed in the fulfilment of his bail conditions could be likened to the zeal and determination that saw the Igbos prosecute the civil war of the1967 against the Nigerian troops from nothing. It goes to once more demonstrate that the bestof the survival instinct of an Igbo comes out best when he is pressed beyond tolerance.MaziNnamdiKanu’s bail fulfilment indeed turned out a major test case oncemore for the entire Igbo nation, which the nationality passed with A+.
Lawyers speak on bail conditions
“In my 43 years of legal practice I have not seen such bail conditions before,” he declared. “It’s as if there was intent to make sure they were not fulfilled, and the law is against that.”
The legal luminary, however, added: “Nobody should be worried because his lawyershave said the conditions would be fulfilled…and if they don’t get that done, they can go back to the court and ask for the variation of the terms of condition.”
Chukwuka said: “He [Kanu] has been given bail, though the conditions are very stringent. But he has promised to meet the bail conditions. The conditions were quitter onerous all the same, but if he cannot meet them he can go back to court and seek for variation.”
He said: “There is no doubt that the right to bail is constitutional. It is trite that the right to admit an accused to bail is at the discretion of the court, but such discretion rests on the judge who must exercise it judicially and judiciously. This means that the conditions of the bail must not be excessive with respect to the offence charged.”
He agreed that the bail conditions were onerous, saying that he was shocked that Kanu’s right might have been infringed upon.
“That, to me is a huge problem and the courts have held in many cases that bail should not be seen as a form of punishment. This is the height of the severity of the conditions to which Mr.Kanu will be subjected, should he perfect the bail.”
“I hope his defence team will appeal to vary the bail conditions soon, else we will find ourselves in a tight corner as this forms part of judicial precedence in future.”
No retreat no surrender
Many had thought that the arrest and prosecution of their leader, NnamdiKanu, would make the youths in Igboland, especially the leadership and members of IPOB and MASSOB, take a deep breath and calm down. But they were not deterred.
Notwithstanding the series of rallies that almost locked down the South East and the South South and which also claimed the lives of so many pro-Biafra agitators, the Movement for Actualization of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) and the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) said that the arrest and detention of Kanu was instead shaping their minds.
Recall that when news of the arrest of Kanu broke, members of IPOB and MASSOB spontaneously embarked on protests in some parts of the Eastern regions of the country, notably in Anambra, Abia, Imo, Rivers and Delta States.
Comrade UcheMadu, the spokesman for a faction of MASSOB, decried what he said was the cowardly arrest and detention of NnamdiKanu.
“The arrest and detention of NnamdiKanu by DSS will assist immensely in reviving the consciousness and sympathy for Biafra actualization in higher dimension, which was temporarily halted by Ralph Uwazuruike’s deviation and lust for wealth. This singular arrest will cause more diplomatic harm for Nigeria’s image than good.
“Before NnamdiKanu’s arrest, he had succeeded in rooting the Biafra struggle in about 78 countries including Biafra land through Radio Biafra, international tour and secret diplomatic build-up.
“MASSOB warns government to quickly release NnamdiKanu now or face an eruption of Biafra worldwide demonstration and protest which will endanger the already battered image of Nigeria before the International community.”
Ohaneze to convince Kanu to accept restructuring
Deputy National Publicity Secretary of Ohaneze, ChuksIbegbudisclosed this to newsmen. He said: “Ohanaeze will definitely discuss with him (Kanu). Ohanaeze has been making efforts to parley with all the pro-Biafra groups and find a point of agreement with them on these issues.
“Even before now, Ohanaezehad wanted to send a delegation to seeKanuin Kuje Prison. We planned it before he was granted bail. We will engage him and some of his associates so that we can find a common ground. He is our son; we understand him and he will understand us.
“At the planned meeting, Ohanaeze intends to make Kanu understand and appreciate its position, which is the restructuring of the country, rather than secession. Ohanaeze’s position is restructuring and his (Kanu’s) position is secession. We will not tell him to drop his desire for self-determination but we will make him understand that Ohanaeze’s position is the position of the Igbo people.
“He has the right to seek self-determination, but we will make him appreciate Ohanaeze’s position, which is restructuring and social justice. Ohanaeze’s position is the position of the totality of the Igbo people. We will also make him understand that there is no need to insult anybody in the agitation, and no need for violence – of course he has never been violent.
My husband will not abandon Biafra struggle – Kanu’s wife
However, Kanu’s wife, UchechiOkwu-Kanu, has said that her husband is not giving up on Biafra struggle.
According to her: “Anybody thinking that my husband will renounce Biafra is certainly mistaken,” she said, adding that “this type of news as distressing as it is, is laughable because no group can postulate what my husband can or cannot do or say. This is not only an insult to our belief but also a despoliation of our rights as a people perpetrated by dishonourable minds.”
“It is now apparent that the charges against my husband are politically motivated and not a judicial process as President Buhari would have the world believe,” Okwu-Kanu continued.
“This singular act of tyranny and injustice against my husband amongst others is reprehensible to every reasonable mind and is one of the critical reasons for the emergence of the Niger Delta Avenger (NDA) who [had] in their quest consistently called for the release of my husband which President Buhari has underplayed.
“Subsequently, NnamdiKanu should be present at any negotiations and I can refer President Buhari to F.W. de Klerk of South Africa on how to negotiate with a freedom fighter,” she said.
Another May 30 is here…
This was made known to newsmen in a statement issued by its spokesperson, Emma Powerful, ordering every Igbo person to sit at home and remember their heroes and heroines past.
“We must make sure that all areas occupied by Biafrans for the remembrance and honour of our heroes and heroines, who laid down their lives during the genocidal war are shut down.”
“Our leader (Kanu) has been in high spirit since his arrest in 2015 and we cannot afford our spirit to be dampened towards the liberation of Biafra because of conditions attached to his release,” Powerful surmised.