Everyone that was expecting to see the missing leader of the proscribed secessionist group, Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, at the Federal High Court in Abuja on Tuesday was disappointed.

The Biafran agitator, who was last seen in public in September, did not turn up for the commencement of his treason trial at the Federal High Court in Abuja.

There was heavy military presence inside and outside the courtroom on Tuesday as Kanu was expected to show up to defend himself against charges of conspiracy and treasonable felony alongside fellow defendants: David Nwawuisi, Benjamin Madubugwu, and Chidiebere Onwudiwe.

While the three other defendants were present in court during the commencement of the case on Tuesday, Kanu's counsel, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, announced the appearance of the IPOB leader, but alleged that he is in custody of the government.

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"The Nigerian Army invaded his house and killed 28 people. I do not even know if he is alive or dead. The soldiers are in a better position to tell us," he said.

The government has always maintained that Kanu has gone into hiding to avoid prosecution with other rumours circulating that he might have even escaped to the United Kingdom.

While condemning Kanu's failure to appear as a "a grave violation of the order of this court", the prosecution counsel, Shuaibu Labaran, urged Justice Nyako to revoke his bail and order the three sureties that facilitated his release to "show cause why the bail bond of N100m entered into by each shall not be forfeited or they be committed to prison."


Kanu was arrested by the Department of State Services (DSS) in 2015 and he spent two years in custody until he was granted bail on health grounds in April 2017.

The bail was granted bail by Justice Nyako on Tuesday, April 25, with Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, Jewish High Chief Priest, Immanuu-El Shalom Okabemadu and a Chartered Accountant resident in Abuja, Tochukwu Uchendu, signing his bail bond.

Justice Nyako later adjourned the case till November 20, 2017.

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