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Poisoning claims: IPOB seeking leader’s release on health grounds – Investigation

Nnamdi Kanu

Indications have emerged that the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) may be using the health status of their detained leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, as a ploy to secure his release.

The INTERPOL had arrested Kanu in Kenya and extradited him to Nigeria to continue to face trial in June 2021.

The Federal High Court, Abuja, had severally refused to admit the IPOB leader to bail insisting that since Kanu was earlier granted bail in 2017 and jumped the bail, the court must first determine the real reason he jumped the bail before applying for another one.

A voice note trending on the social media, weekend, claimed Kanu had been poisoned in custody of the Department of State Services (DSS), even as his supporters were urged to go on rampage in protest.

However, the family of the detained IPOB leader had urged members of the public to discountenance the voice note.

Kanu’s younger brother, Prince Emmanuel, in an interview with a national daily (not Blueprint) wondered how the story of the alleged poisoning began, and cautioned against fake news.

In the publication titled: Disregard poison rumour about Nnamdi Kanu – Family, Prince Emmanuel urged Kanu’s followers, Biafrans, and members of the public not to take laws into their hands but to remain calm.

“Kanu’s brother had posted on his Facebook page the outcome of the Thursday’s meeting with him.

... read: “I Met with Mazi Nnamdi Kanu in the company of Evangelist, and Barr Nnaemeka Ejiofor, at DSS, Abuja.

“As always, we focused more on victories recorded and way forward. He maintained that this struggle for liberation remains a collective fight and thanked those who have not betrayed the struggle.

“He said Nigeria has continuously flouted the orders of her own court and such will never be tolerated in IPOB. Those who attack this noble structure were not there when it was built and can never be brought down

“This movement is divine to me; IPOB is a huge achievement for our people and for men and women of good conscience. We have come that humanity may be set free,” the publication read in part.

Conversely, IPOB’s spokesman, Emma Powerful, in a press statement, Tuesday, maintained that Kanu’s worsening health status was real and urged the federal government not to play politics with the life of its leader.

“We want to remind DSS and the public that Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s deteriorating health is true and can’t be termed a political statement. Nigeria’s government and her secret police, DSS are very much aware that Mazi Nnamdi KANU’s health is failing him from their poisoning, denial of adequate medication for his known ailment and torture by means of starvation as he continues to be held illegally by the DSS in solitary confinement,” Powerful stated.

A source conversant with the investigation told our correspondent that Kanu’s health was stable and he was not being starved or maltreated.

“Kanu was not poisoned; there is no basis for that. Nobody is starving him, nobody is maltreating him. DSS officers in terror investigation abide strictly to the Standard Operation Procedure (SOP). They would not manhandle a suspect. They know the consequence; the service doesn’t condone such behaviour, the source who did not want to be named stated.

Acknowledging that the IPOB leader had a medical history which had been attended to the source, “When Kanu was arrested and brought to DSS custody on June 29, 2021; he had disclosed that had a history of high blood pressure and ulcer.

“A team of medical consultants and doctors within and outside the service attended to him between July 2 and 5, 2021, and his vitals stabilised after treatment.

“In the last quarter of 2022, November to be precise, when he complained of ear pains a consultant attended to him.

“He has no threatening health condition. However, he has been insisting on being attended to by his personal physician who is not a specialist and has been found to have even relocated to the United States.

“Investigations have also revealed that the said personal physician, who he has refused to name, was previously resident in Umuahia, Abia state, and was a staff of the Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia, but operated a private which he closed down before relocating to the United States with his family.”

According to the source, “I can tell you authority that the narrative surrounding Kanu’s health is outcome of his recent meeting with his legal team to seek bail for medical check up since other efforts to take him on bail had failed.

“You see, even statements by the group have debunked the claim that he doesn’t have access to his lawyers. He gets regular visits from them, members of his family and even some prominent Nigerians.

“The problem is that his lawyers have realised that they may not get an opportunity for their cases to be heard till after the general elections hence they are playing mind games trying to capture the attention of their sympathisers and other Nigerians.”

On the allegation that his feeding had gone from bad to worse, the source said the IPOB leader had the liberty of choosing what eats and his order for each day was properly documented.



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