Nigerian judge denies separatist leader Kanu bail for the second time

Nnamdi Kanu
Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) leader Nnamdi Kanu is seen at the Federal high court Abuja, Nigeria January 20, 2016. He was released on bail over a year after this picture was taken due to health concerns. Afolabi Sotunde/Reuters
A Nigerian judge denied separatist leader Nnamdi Kanu bail for the second time in two months on Monday and also dismissed his application to be moved to prison from custody of the Department of State Services (DSS), a security agency.
Kanu, a British citizen who leads the banned Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) movement, was first arrested in 2015 but disappeared from Nigeria while on bail in 2017.
He was subsequently arrested in Kenya in 2021 and charged in Nigeria with seven counts of terrorism. Kanu has pleaded not guilty.
Kanu denied breaching his 2017 bail terms, saying he escaped for his life after soldiers invaded his ancestral home in the southern Nigerian state of Abia.
Judge Binta Murtala Nyako, who denied Kanu bail in March, said she found out as a fact that Kanu jumped bail granted him in 2017. “You have an option of appeal. Please exercise your right of appeal,” the judge said.
However, in a dramatic reaction in court on Monday, Kanu yelled out that he would not stand trial in any Nigerian court after his bail request was denied.
Kanu’s IPOB campaigns for the secession of southeastern Nigeria where the majority belong to the Igbo ethnic group. Nigerian authorities have labelled IPOB a terrorist organization.
An attempt by the region to secede as the Republic of Biafra in 1967, the year Kanu was born, triggered a three-year civil war that killed more than 1 million people.