The outrage and mixed reactions have somehow overshadowed the real issues in the Nnamdi Kanu case.
Why was he arrested? Why is he not yet released, what are the real accusations that have been laid against him. What real charges have been leveled against him? Here they are:
1. Treasonable felony
The offence of treason is a capital offence which is defined by section 37(1) of the Criminal Code Act as:
- Any person who levies war against the state, in order to intimidate or overawe the president or the governor of a state is guilty of treason and is liable to the punishment of death.
- Any person conspiring with any person, either within or without Nigeria, to levy war against the state with the intent to cause such leving of war as would be treason if committed by a citizen of Nigeria, is guilty of treason and is liable to punishment of death.
The charge against Nnamdi Kanu reads as follows:
"That you, Nnamdi Kanu and other unknown persons, now at large, at London, United Kingdom, between 2014 and September, 2015 with intention to levy war against Nigeria in order to force the President to change his measures of being the President of the Federation, Head of State and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federation as defined in Section 3 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) by doing an act to wit: Broadcast on Radio Biafra your preparations for the states in the South- East geo-political zone, South-South geo-political zone, the Igala Community of Kogi State and the Idoma/Igede Community of Benue State to secede from the Federal Republic of Nigeria and form themselves into a Republic of Biafra, and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 41(C) of the Criminal Code Act, CAP C38 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004."
2. Illegal items
The other allegation is contained in section 47(2) (a) of the Customs and Excise Management Act. The act covers importation of illegal goods and banned products.
He stands accused of bringing the transmitters for Radio Biafra into Nigeria illegally. A telecommunication maintenance engineer, David Nwawuisi, revealed that he got an initial payment of N150,000 to install a Radio Biafra transmitter on an MTN mast in Ngwo, Enugu state.
3. Maintaining an unlawful society
In the Nigerian constitution, an unlawful society is any society includes any combination of ten or more persons whether the society be known by any name or not.
A society is an unlawful society if declared by an order of the President to be a society dangerous to the good government of Nigeria or of any part thereof.
Any person who manages or assists in the management of an unlawful society is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for seven years.
Nnamdi Kanu stands accused of maintaining an unlawful society and retaining items belonging to IPOB, among others.