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The commissioner of Police Abia State, Ene Oko, has sworn to arrest the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Mazi Nnamdi Kanu if he returns to Nigeria for his mother’s burial.
The IPOB leader had earlier announced the demise of his mother, Her Royal Highness, Lolo Ugoeze Sally Kanu who died 30 August 2019 in a German hospital.
In an Interview with Okey Sampson in Umuahia, Friday said the state police will not spare Kanu if he steps into the state because he was declared wanted.
He also extended the warning to members of the group who may identify selves as members said they will be arrested by the Nigeria police force.
Responding to question what the group will be expecting from the state police if Kanu finally attends to the burial of his mother, CP Okon said is not after what the group speculates but what he knows is that Kanu jumped bail, escaped and was declared wanted.
Expressing further, Okon said if Kanu submits himself he police will take him to court as a wanted man but where he fails, he will be treated as a wanted man, arrested and hand over to the court.
“Well, if members of IPOB are speculating that, the police do not know that one. What I know is that Nnamdi Kanu jumped bail and escaped and is wanted and remains a wanted man. Until that time, but I couldn’t tell you about police action on anything that is speculation until he comes.”
“If he comes back and submits himself to the police, police will know what to do at that time. Like I said earlier, we do not deal on speculation, but if actually, he will come back, then we will know what to do.”
“If he comes back and fails to submit himself as you will want him to, what will the police do?”
“If he submits himself, we have to take him before the court, but where if he fails to submit himself to the police if he comes back, he is a wanted man; he is a wanted man and the law on somebody that is wanted is clear. Even you as a private person or civilian can arrest a wanted man and hand him over to the police. Then what will the police do? If someone is wanted and police see that person, definitely he will be arrested by the police and handed over to the court.”
When reminded that Kanu has said often that he has done nothing to be arrested or declare him wants by court, the CP responded said he jumped bail and that is the position of the police and the court noting if he did not jump bail why would he be “illusion, living in the inclination of the grandeur”.
“Did he jump bail or not? He had a case in court, he was granted bail, and he jumped bail. So, when somebody jumps bail, what do you call that one? If he claims he did not do anything, he that will be an illusion, living in the inclination of the grandeur. The fact remains that he jumped bail and escaped, and he is wanted, he is wanted. So, that is the position.”
“There is this thinking in some quarters that since the mother died, police would have sympathy and allow him to come home and bury her.”
Asked what he thinks about Kanu’s claim that he did not commit any crime to be declared wanted, Okon said is not for him or police to decide but court.
“The court will decide and not the police. But the fact remains that once any person is declared wanted, wherever the police see him in any corner of Nigeria, the person will be arrested.”
Read in full rest of the interview, the most intriguing side, why Nigeria police is operating differently from other international laws, why Nnamdi Kanu was not arrested if actually declared a terrorist and responses from CP Okon.
Since you said the IPOB leader will be arrested if he comes home because he was declared wanted, he has been moving freely abroad, why have the police not made any effort to nab him?
That has to do with international law and a lot of things are involved that require going through Interpol.
Some people believe Nigeria police is acting as local lords in this matter. Why has it not initiated that move for Interpol to get the IPOB leader arrested?
That’s a question I cannot answer, there is an international dimension to it. The Federal Government has to come in here. You know Nigeria is a member of Interpol, a member of international organizations that have treaties; it has to go through these treaties, conventions and all that. You can’t just jump over some of these things and you say you want to arrest somebody, no, there are procedures. We are in a country that has treaties with other countries, we need a whole lot of laws and all that and you have to go through all those procedures, it’s not a day’s job.
Members of IPOB see Nnamdi Kanu’s mother as equally their mother and customarily may be preparing to come out en masse to give her a befitting burial. What will the police do if this happens?
Until that time, wait and see what police will do.
Are there security measures to be put in place by the police during the burial ceremony?
As at now you are just saying what people are speculating, we have not known or heard that the family has fixed the burial and all that.
Until that time, when we know and when the family tells us their mother is going to be buried, then we will know how and what to say, but for now, people are speculating. So, we cannot wake up and start stating mere speculation. We have our intelligence when the time comes, we will get our intelligence and know what to say or do.
Won’t it be wise for police to give warning early enough to those who may want to foment trouble in whatever guise during the burial?
We don’t warn on rumour, we will only warn when we gather intelligence, we subject intelligence to analysis and all that and if we are convinced of the intelligence, we will do the needful.
If IPOB applies to the police to be allowed to formally take part in the burial, what will be your responsibility as the Commissioner?
Who will apply to the police?
I mean IPOB
A proscribed organization to do what? A terrorist organization will apply to the police? Okay, when they apply, let them put their names, their correct names so that we know what to do. By the way, how do you expect the police to honour application by a proscribed and terrorist organization? We are even looking for them, let them apply and put the names of their leaders in the application as that will give us a very good ground to do the needful.