Authoritative sources from the Nigerian Army have said the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, is not in military custody.
The sources, from the army headquarters, Abuja, and the 82 Division headquarters, Enugu State, which coordinates Operation Python Dance II, told one of Punch correspondents on Thursday that Kanu was not arrested or detained, as being speculated.
Kanu’s lawyers on Wednesday filed a suit before the Federal High Court in Abuja praying for an order, directing the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, to produce Kanu in court.
The lawyers, led by Ifeanyi Ejiofor, had declared Kanu missing, saying the IPOB leader was last seen after the September 14 invasion of his residence in Afara-Ukwu area of Abia State by soldiers.
But an authoritative source from the army headquarters said, “If you follow the trends of things, the army has not been talking about a proscribed group. If someone says he does not know where Kanu is, who gave him the authority to file a motion against the army?
“We don’t want to be drawn into this propaganda. For goodness sake, if we have Kanu, of what use is it if we keep quiet? We have never been secretive. Nobody prompted us before we came out to talk about Egwu Eke II starting in the South-East. Nobody prompted us before we came out to say that despite all the pressures, we were not withdrawing the operation. The exercise is still ongoing.”
Also, the source from 82 Division headquarters, Enugu, who did not want his name in print, replied Punch correspondent’s enquiry through a text message.
“Kanu is not with us. And I am not aware of his whereabouts,” it read.