Leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu, finally regained his freedom around 6:40pm on Friday after he perfected all the bail conditions that were handed to him by trial Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court in Abuja. Kanu and
some family members leaving prison Kanu leaving prison Kanu leaving prison Kanu who arrived the high court premises around 6:20pm in a black Toyota jeep with registration number ABC-46-MU, was formally released to Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, a Jewish High Chief Priest, Immanuu-El Shalom and a Chartered Accountant residing in Abuja, Mr. Tochukwu Uchendu. Kanu’s lawyer, Mr. Ifeanyi Ejiofor and the three sureties were at the high court registry earlier in the day to sign the necessary bail documents. However, in line with an order of the Judge, the IPOB leader was brought back to the court from Kuje prison to sign and undertaken that he would be available to answer to the five-count charge the Federal Government entered against him. Immediately he was formally released by the prison officials, Kanu was received by a jubilant crowd including his relatives. The number of people that struggled to take photograph with his at the court premises exceeded 10. “I feel good that at the end of the day we were able to effect his release from incarceration and we believe that going forward, we will be able to proper address and resolve issues behind his agitation”, Senator Abaribe told newsmen.
It will be recalled that Kanu who had been in detention since October 14, 2015, secured bail from the high court on April 25. Justice Binta Nyako said her decision to release Kanu who is the 1st defendant before the court, on bail, was based on health grounds. She cited an affidavit that was attached to the bail application Kanu filed through his lawyer, Mr. Ifeanyi Ejiofor. Specifically, the court held that Kanu must produce three sureties, including a “highly respected and recognised jewish leader”. According to the court, aside a jewish leader, Kanu must also produce a “highly placed person of Igbo extraction”, as well as “a highly respected person who is resident and owns landed property in Abuja”. Each of the sureties are to deposit N100million each. Justice Nyako had in the course of the ruling, asked Kanu to tell the court the religion he believes in, considering that one of the bail conditions would include his production of a highly placed religious leader. “My lord I believe in Judaism”, Kanu replied from the dock. “So you are a Jew then?”, the Judge queried. “Yes I am a Jew”, Kanu maintained. “Good. In that case, one of the sureties must be a highly respected and recognised Jewish leader. I must be able to know him, thank God I have been taught how to use Google”, Justice Nyako jokingly added. As part of his conditions for bail, Kanu, was expressly barred by the court from attending any rally or granting any form of interview. “I must stress it here that the defendant must not attend any rally. He must not be in a crowd exceeding 10 persons”, the Judge warned. Justice Nyako equally held that Kanu who was arrested by security operatives upon his arrival to Nigeria from the United Kingdom, must sign an undertaken to make himself available for trial at all times. Kanu was ordered to surrender his Nigerian and British international passports, even as the court compelled FG to return to him, his wedding ring and reading glasses. However, Kanu’s co-defendants, Chidiebere Onwudiwe, Benjamin Madubugwu and David Nwawuisi, were denied bail by the court which described charges against them as “very serious”. Justice Nyako said the fact that she earlier struck out terrorism charges FG slammed against the defendants did not water-down seriousness of treason charge against them. She held that Kanu’s co-defendants did not adduce fresh facts capable of persuading the court to release them on bail.