Nigerian separatist leader in custody

A separatist leader wanted by Nigeria has been arrested in Abuja, awaiting trial. He is accused of terrorism and treason. Authorities say Nnamdi Kanu, head of the Indigenous People of Biafra or IPOB, was arrested Tuesday.

Authorities say Nnamdi Kanu’s arrest happened with the help of Interpol but did not reveal where he was intercepted. Local news sources say he was caught in the United Kingdom, but the British High Commission refutes the claim.

Kanu was in court for a brief hearing in Abuja Tuesday ahead of a trial scheduled for July 26. He faces charges that include acts of terrorism, treasonable felony, possession of firearms and managing an unlawful society, according to Attorney General and Justice Minister Abubakar Malami.

“Kanu was also accused of instigating violence especially in southeastern Nigeria that resulted in the loss of lives and property of civilians, military, paramilitary, police force, and destruction of civil institutions and symbols of civil authority,” he said.

In 2014, Kanu created the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, which seeks independence in Nigeria’s southeast. He rebranded a movement which seceded from Nigeria in 1967, leading to a bloody civil war and the defeat of the Biafran movement.