There are fears that Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, may be treated like Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, leader of the Ismalic Movement in Nigeria, IMN.
El-Zakzaky was arrested in December 2015 after his followers attacked the convoy of former Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai (rtd) in Zaria, Kaduna State.
Following that attack, the Nigerian Army had accused members of IMN of attempting to assassinate the ex-COAS.
Against this backdrop, El-Zakzaky alongside hundreds of his followers were arrested after security forces stormed the group’s headquarters and killed about 350 people.
Since his arrest, the IMN leader has not been released despite rulings by several courts.
In December 2016, Justice Gabriel Kolawole-led Federal High Court, Abuja had granted El-Zakzaky and his wife, Zeenatudeen bail.
Justice Kolawole also fined the Federal Government N50 million for the incarceration of the duo.
In 2019, The Kaduna State High Court granted El-Zakzaky and his wife bail on health grounds.
The couple were expected to visit the Mandeta Hospital in New Delhi, India for treatment, but it never happened.
Despite the many bails granted to the IMN leader, he is yet to be released by the relevant authorities.
This fate, some residents of Abuja fear may befall Kanu, following his rearrest.
Kanu was first arrested in December 2015 and was charged with treasonable felony amongst others.
In 2017, Justice Binta Nyako of an Abuja Federal High Court had granted Kanu bail. After effecting his bail, the IPOB leader had fled Nigeria.
He was, however, rearrested on Sunday and repatriated to Nigeria to continue his trial.
Upon resumption of the case on Tuesday, Justice Nyako remanded Kanu in the custody of the Department of State Services, DSS, while adjourning the case till July.
However, some Abuja residents noted that Kanu may suffer the same fate as El-Zakzaky because he fled the country to London.
Speaking with Newspot, they said the decision to order his followers to attack government facilities and security operatives means he may be locked up for a very long time.
A lawyer, Enoch Onu said, “The matter is before the court so I would not like to sound preemptive but it is not looking good for Kanu. When a court grants you bail and you decide to jump bail, you may never get another. Even his lawyers know that.
“What I think his lawyers can do now is to pray the court to grant an accelerated hearing. Just like El-Zkzaky, He may remain in custody for a very long time.”
Mr Ebuka Tobichukwu, a teacher with Temple Academy in Lugbe said: “Nnamdi Kanu should just forget regaining his freedom. He was granted bail then he ran to London or Israel and starting trying to destroy Nigeria. He should forget about freedom. Trust Nigerian government, they will surely deal with him, see what they are doing to el-Zakzaky; since 2015 he has not tasted freedom, Nigerians should expect same for Kanu.”
A rights activist, Sunday Garba noted: “Kanu’s right should be respected and a fair trial should be carried out; that is the right thing to do. But the question is, will this government be fair? Considering the fact Kanu was seen as a threat to Nigeria’s unity. However, Kanu is innocent until proven guilty by the court.”