Former Abia State Governor Orji Uzor Kalu was under attack yesterday for his revelation of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) leader Nnamdi Kanu’s whereabouts.
Kanu has not been seen or heard from since last month’s fracas between his supporters and troops near his Afaraukwu home in Umuahia, the Abia State capital. His lawyers have urged the High Court in Abuja to compel the military to produce him, “having taken him away when they invaded his house”. But the military has since denied taking Kanu away.
The ex-governor, in an interview published yesterday by a national daily, said Kanu had bolted away to London.
Kalu said: “Kanu was not taken away by the military. Kanu went to Malaysia from where he travelled to the United Kingdom. Nnamdi Kanu is in London right now as we speak. He was not arrested by anybody. He left the country on his own.”
The ex-governor said one of Kanu’s relations told him the whereabouts of the separatist leader whose counsel Ifeanyi Ejiofor wondered how Kalu could be authoritative about his client’s whereabouts when he did not claim to be present on “the day soldiers invaded Kanu’s abode”.
The lawyer, who referred to the processes he filed in relation to a suit, seeking to compel Chief of Army Staff Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai to produce his client in court, said he stood by the claim in the suit that the army should account for Kanu’s whereabouts.
Ejiofor and others in the suit claimed that Kanu, who was in his house during the September 14 attack on his premises by some soldiers, “has not been heard from or seen after this bloody attack in his home by the agents of the respondent (COAS) since the 14th day of September 2017”.
In a statement sent through an electronic mail yesterday, Ejiofor said: “ Kalu saw Kanu’s travails as an opportunity for relevance.
“What do you expect from a man who is enjoying a temporary freedom? Struggling to get his head out of grievous corruption charge hanging on his neck?
“He is seeking for possible relevance where none exists, opportunity to divert attention. May be he has forgotten he is no longer the governor of Abia State.
“I advise the discerning mind to kindly disregard his tantrums as that coming from a drowning man.
“The military should produce my client wherever they kept him. The matter is now in court, let’s meet in court.
“Orji Uzo Kalu can as well apply to be joined as a party in the suit. Let his position be on oath.”
The banned separatist group, in a statement by its spokesman Emma Powerful, said: “IPOB through her lawyers will compel Orji Uzor Kalu to appear in court alongside (Gen. Tukur) Buratai on the October 17, 2017 to tell the world, under oath, what he claims to know about the whereabouts of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.
“His laughable assertion that the IPOB leader is in London is a confirmation that all along he has been working in tandem with Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, Willie Obiano, Rochas Okprocha and others to slaughter as many IPOB family members as possible in order to please the core North.
”Our leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu before his abduction by the Nigerian Army has brought an end to the era of cash-and-carry politics of subservience to Hausa/Fulani to the detriment of Biafra.
”We have formally instructed our attorneys to add the name of Orji Uzor Kalu as one of those who might help in locating our leader. He should be prepared to present his evidence in a court of law and be cross examined under oath. The surviving members of Kanu family have all denied ever talking to Orji Uzor Kalu about the whereabouts of our leader.”
It remains to be seen whether Kanu will appear for his court case with the federal Government later this month.