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Nigeria: Biafran independence leader says he is not guilty of 'treasonable felony'

Nigeria: Biafran independence leader says he is not guilty of 'treasonable felony'


The Biafran independence leader Nnamdi Kanu earlier today pleaded not guilty on charges of treason brought against him.

The prosecution alleges that between 2014 and 2015, Kanu called for some southern states to secede from Nigeria to form an independent Republic of Biafra

According to his charge sheet, the request was made on Radio Biafra, which Kanu is a director. “The call was laden with the intention to levy war against Nigeria,” read the charge sheet.

Kanu, who also heads the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) group, was arrested by the Department of State Services in October, when he arrived in the country from London, where the radio station is based.

In December , Kanu refused to enter into a plea bargain when he was first charged, saying he had no confidence in the then trial judge.

But on Wednesday, he denied six charges which include managing an unlawful society and illegal possession of fire ams.

The arrest sparked a wave of protests in south-eastern Nigeria, with people calling for his release and amplifying their call for a breakaway state for the southeastern Igbo.

He was remanded in custody until January 25 for a review of his bail application .

Kanu has emerged as the new face of the campaign for a separate Biafran state, nearly 50 years after a previous unilateral declaration of independence sparked a brutal civil war.