The Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB on Monday has announced Mazi Chika Edoziem as its new leader.
IPOB said Edoziem would take over its affairs until its leader, Nnamdi Kanu, is released.
The group’s spokesman, Emma Powerful made this known in a statement issued on Monday and made available to Journalists.
He said Edoziem would relinquish the leadership role to Kanu when he is released.
The statement reads partly: “For the avoidance of doubt, the Directorate of State of the Indigenous People of Biafra (DOS), headed by Mazi Chika Edoziem, is at the helm of affairs of the Biafra movement; whenever our leader Mazi Nnamdi KANU comes out, he hands over IPOB structure back to him.”
Edoziem is believed to be the deputy leader of IPOB.
Kanu is currently in the custody of Department of State Services, DSS.
DAILY GIST reported that the IPOB leader was intercepted and arrested on Sunday, June 27th by security operatives and brought back to the country for the continuation of his trial
According to minister of justice, Abubakar Malami, Charges levelled against Kanu include terrorism, treasonable felony, unlawful possession of firearms and management of an unlawful society.
Explaining how the IPOB Leader was arrested to Newsmen, Malami said Kanu was arrested through collaborative efforts of Nigerian intelligence and security services.
Malami said “Self-aclaimed leader of the proscribed secessionist Indegenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, has been through the collaborative efforts of Nigerian intelligence and security services.”
“He has been brought back to Nigeria in order to continue facing trial after disappearing while on bail regarding 11 count charge against him.
“Recent steps taken by the Federal Government saw to the interception of the fugitive Kanu on Sunday the 27th day of June, 2021.
“Nwannekaenyi Nnamdi Ngozichukwu Okwu-Kanu, born 25th day of September, 1967 at Afaraukwu, Abia State is a holder of Nigerian Passport No. A05136827 first issued 17th October 2013 at FESTAC, Lagos.
“It is recalled that Kanu was arrested on 14th October, 2015 on 11 count charge bordering on terrorism, treasonable felony, managing an unlawful society, publication of defamatory matter, illegal possession of firearms and improper importation of goods, among others.
“A judge at the Federal High Court, Abuja revoked Kanu’s bail that was granted him on health ground and issued a bench warrant for his arrest on the same date, over his failure to appear in court for hearing.
“He has, upon jumping bail, been accused of engaging in subversive activities that include inciting violence through television, radio and online broadcasts against Nigeria and Nigerian State and institutions.
“Kanu was also accused of instigating violence especially in the Southeastern Nigeria that resulted in the loss of lives and property of civilians, military, para military, police forces and destruction of civil institutions and symbols of authorities.”
DAILY GIST recalls that Kanu was granted bail in April 2017 for health reasons but skipped bail after flouting some of the conditions given to him by the court including a ban on public speaking.
Kanu had been in a running battle with the administration of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari, over his quest for the secession of the South-East geopolitical zone.
Buhari government had in September 2017 outlawed IPOB and declared that the activities of the group constituted an act of terrorism and illegality.