To forestall any leadership vacuum, the proscribed militant group, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has announced the appointment of Mazi Chika Edoziem as its new leader. He would be replacing Nnamdi Kanu who was arrested by state authorities on terrorism charges and has been in detention since Sunday, June 27, 2021.
A statement by the spokesman, Emma Powerful, said Edoziem would relinquish the leadership role to Kanu when he is released.
The statement read partly: “For the avoidance of doubt, the Directorate of State of the Indigenous People of Biafra (DOS), headed by Mazi Chika Edoziem, is at the helm of affairs of the Biafra movement; whenever our leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu comes out, he hands over IPOB structure back to him.”
Edoziem is believed to be the deputy leader of IPOB.
He was earlier arrested on October 14, 2015 and arraigned on 11-count charge bordering on terrorism, treasonable felony, managing an unlawful society, publication of defamatory matter, illegal possession of firearms and improper importation of goods, among others.
A judge at the Federal High Court, Abuja revoked Kanu’s bail that was granted him on health ground and issued a bench warrant for his arrest on the same date, over his failure to appear in court for hearing.
The Federal Government had in May re-arraigned the detained IPOB leader on amended terrorism-related charges, weeks after the judge, Binta Nyako, struck out eight of the 15-count including terrorism and treasonable felony earlier brought against Mr Kanu by the government.
In her ruling on Mr Kanu’s application on April 8, she dismissed counts 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12,13 and 14 which she ruled were repetitive and invalid.But she approved counts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8 and 15, which Mr Kanu is currently being tried on.
FG had in the counts that were struck out, purported that Kanu had through his broadcasts, incited members of the public to not only stage a violent revolution but to attack police officers and also destroy public facilities in Lagos State.
The pending charges have to do with Kanu’s alleged membership of the proscribed IPOB and incitement via social media channels of members of the group to kill innocent persons in the South-East.
The prosecution also alleged that on diverse dates between March and April 2015, he illegally imported into Nigeria and kept in Ubulisluzor in Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State, a radio transmitter known as Tram 50L, concealed in a container of used household items which he declared as used household items. The alleged offence was said to be contrary to section 47(2)(a) of Criminal Code Act CapC45 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.