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Kanu tells UK he wants freedom before Buhari leaves

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Leader of the proscribed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPoB), Mazi Nnamdi Kanu has met with a United Kingdom diplomat, asking that the British government intervene to get him released from detention before the Muhammadu Buhari administration leaves office on 29 May.

This is on the heels of a crisis within IPoB leadership circles following protracted supremacy contests over who should be the main custodian of the group’s bank accounts with Kanu’s incarceration by the Federal Government.

Investigation shows that the major contenders, including two close relatives of the IPoB leader, have laid claims to being the rightful authorities to keep and maintain the many accounts of the group given their proximity to Kanu and their contributions to the activities body.

Sources said that the huge amount being kept in several bank accounts in many jurisdictions is mostly from freewill donations by individuals to support the group’s agitation.

Insider said that, while Kanu had instructed that some of the accounts be manned by some of his siblings and trusted allies, the disagreement between one of his male and female relatives has not helped matters.

Vanguard reports that a competent source familiar with IPoB’s operations confirmed that the male sibling of Kanu, who claims to be superior in rank in the affairs of the body, did not want the female member of the family to control any of the accounts on the grounds that she did not understand the structure of the group.

A similar scenario is said to be fast playing out in the United States where both siblings of the detained IPoB leader are also in a contest to control the bank accounts of the group in that country. But Kanu is reported to have ordered the female relatives to keep off the account for the male relative to manage until further notice.

In a bid to resolve the lingering crisis, Kanu’s lawyer and other key stakeholders of the group, met with the detained IPoB leader in Abuja on February 23, 2023, and presented the issue and other matters of concern to him and sought his approval to get them resolved without further delay.

Kanu’s lawyer’s key lieutenants made a suggestion that all the cash in the disputed accounts should be immediately transferred to its national account and managed by one trusted ally to avoid the current unhealthy battle to control them.

The battle for control of the accounts of the body comes as a British diplomat, Heather Wilkie, visited the detained IPoB leader in the DSS custody to see how he was doing in detention and what could be done for him as a UK citizen.

Kanu used the opportunity of the visit of the diplomat on February 7, 2023, to plead with the UK government to prevail on Nigeria to free him before the Buhari government leaves office in May this year.

Kanu is said to have complained to the UK diplomat that despite the regular visits paid to him by the representatives of the government, that country had not done enough to secure his release as a British citizen.

He is said to have expressed the fear that if he was not released before the expiration of the tenure of the Buhari administration, which incarcerated him, it might take a fresh round of legal battles to free him under a new administration.

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