The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has disclosed that the luxurious lifestyle of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) leader, Nnamdi Kanu, coupled with intelligence gatherings from the country’s security and intelligence agencies were part of what aided the re-arrest of the agitator.
He added that the embattled leader’s flamboyant lifestyles, including globe-trotting and expensive clothing accessories, despite been declared wanted by the Nigerian government contributed positively to the country’s investigation.
Mohammed noted that the apex government, through security and intelligence agencies, were on the trail of the IPOB leader for over two years and monitoring his lifestyle and traveling itinerary before he was eventually re-arrested during the weekend.
Briefing journalists on Thursday in Abuja, the minister explained that Kanu was living a five-star life across several countries and that the government was monitoring his moves and locations till he got to an undisclosed country where Nigeria has a working relationship.
The minister said Kanu’s re-arrest and repatriation were made possible through the collaboration of Nigerian security and intelligence agencies. He described the re-arrest and repatriation as “one of the most classic operations of its type in the world’’.
“He was travelling on chartered private jets, living in luxury apartments and turning out in designing clothes and shoes. Of course, as we all saw, he was wearing an attire made by Fendi, a luxury Italian fashion brand, when he was arrested,’’ he said.
Mohammed, however, did not comment on the speculations on how the re-arrest was pulled off and in which country the hitherto fugitive leader of the proscribed IPOB was nabbed.
“What we can tell you, once again, is that the re-arrest was made possible by the diligent efforts of our security and intelligence agencies, in collaboration with countries with which we have obligations. We will continue to respect and honour the obligations,’’ he said
Mohammed disclosed that the forensic investigation carried out so far had revealed a treasure trove of information on the proscribed IPOB leader and his collaborators.
“While the investigation continues, we assure you that none of the collaborators, irrespective of their standing in the society, will be spared. They will all face the full wrath of the law for their activities that challenge our nation’s sovereignty and threaten its unity. No one, no matter how highly placed, is bigger than the country,’’ he said.
The minister also assured that Kanu would get a fair trial in measure with the offence he was being prosecuted over.
“It is interesting that many are suddenly calling for a fair trial for Kanu as if he didn’t get one before he decided to jump bail and flee. However, I can assure you that the fair deal that Kanu denied many of the victims of the violence which he willfully instigated through his broadcasts and tweets will not be denied him,’’ he said.
He commended the Nigerian security and intelligence agencies for their professionalism, diligence, patriotism and painstaking efforts as well as sister international agencies that collaborated to pull off the arrest.
Kanu, who is facing an 11-count charge of treason, treasonable felony, terrorism and illegal possession of firearms, among others, jumped bail in 2017 and left the country. He was re-arraigned before a Federal High Court in Abuja on Tuesday and ordered to be remanded in the custody of the DSS, while the case was adjourned till July 26 and July 27.