After almost two years of incarceration, it was sweet freedom at last for the self-acclaimed leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, as he was released from Kuje Prisons in Abuja, yesterday, after meeting his bail conditions.
He was reported to have met the bail conditions imposed on him by Justice Binta Nyako on April 25, with Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe standing as surety.
Others who stood as surety with Kanu include Immanuu El-Shalom, an Igbo Jewish Rabbi from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, and Tochukwu Uchendu.
Kanu, who was brought to the Federal High Court in Abuja, accompanied by family members, lawyers and sureties, signed his own portion on the bail paper around 6.35pm to pave way for his release from Kuje Prisons.
Beaming with smiles and taking photographs with well-wishers, the IPOB leader left the court premises around 6.45pm when he was driven away in a Mercedes Benz 4Matic GL500 car, with registration number ABC 46 MU.
Justice Nyako last Tuesday granted Kanu bail in the sum of N100 million to enable him attend to his failing health. The Judge in addition ordered that the defendant should produce three sureties with N100 million each, who should include a highly respected Jewish leader since, according to her, the defendant claimed Judaism as his religion, a senior and highly placed individual of Igbo extraction and in the ranking of a senator, while the last is expected to be a respected individual resident in Abuja with proof of ownership of landed property.
Justice Nyako, in addition, said Kanu must never be seen in a crowd of over 10 people, “no interviews and no rallies.” Kanu was also ordered to deposit his international passport, including his British passport with the court, adding that the court should on a monthly basis be furnished with progress report on his health.
Kanu’s co-accused were, however, not so fortunate, as the court denied them bail on grounds that the charges against them were grievous. The Judge also refused to grant their second motion, which prayed the court to review its earlier ruling on protection of witnesses.
Kanu, Onwudiwe Chidiebere, Benjamin Madubugwu and David Nwawuisi were arraigned by the Federal Government on an 11-count charge bordering on terrorism, treasonable felony and illegal possession of firearms, among others.
But Justice Nyako had struck out six of the 11-count amended charge filed against the defendants on grounds that the charges lacked competence.
There was heavy security presence at the prisons as it prepared for Kanu’s release, with several security operatives from the military, prison and some in plain clothes seen around the facility.
His release followed series of negotiations between some politicians and activists from the Southeast and members of President Muhammadu Buhari’s government, ostensibly as a way of reducing tension cause by his continued incarceration.
Former Aviation minister, Osita Chidoka, reportedly drove him out of the prison.