The presidency on Tuesday reacted to the reappearance of Nnamdi Kanu months after the Biafran leader was rumoured to have been killed.
President Muhammadu Buhari’s media ade, Garba Shehu, spoke on the matter in an interview on the BBC Hausa Service.
“If it happens to be true, the video footage showing Mr. Nnamdi Kanu; the truth has been revealed about his alleged assassination against the Nigerian government,” Mr. Shehu said.
Mr. Kanu, the controversial leader of the Indigenous People Of Biafra (IPOB), disappeared last year after clashes between his supporters and soldiers involved in a military exercise in Abia State.
Many IPOB supporters accused the military of killing the IPOB leader. His trial for felony was also stalled due to his absence as his lawyer insisted he was either killed or kidnapped by soldiers who attacked his family house during the military exercise.
The separatist leader, however, appeared in a video last Friday; with his lawyer, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, saying he had since spoken to his client who apparently escaped out of Nigeria. Although the video showed him in Israel, the Israeli government has said Mr. Kanu had not entered the country recently and the video could be an old one.
Mr. Kanu later did a broadcast on Sunday from his hideout.
“I have returned full-time and I’m coming back home I will bring hell with me,” Mr. Kanu said in the broadcast monitored on the IPOB Facebook page. He insisted on his group’s demand for a referendum for Igbos to determine if they want to be part of Nigeria or want a separate Biafra country.
While speaking on Tuesday morning, Mr. Shehu said the Nigerian government was put under pressure on false accusations Mr. Kanu had either been killed or kidnapped.
“This fairy tale went up to United Nations General Assembly where some IPOB members staged a protest accusing Nigeria government of kidnapping and even killing of Mr. Kanu,” Mr. Shehu said.
He said now that Mr. Kanu has appeared, people will know who lied between the government and those that made accusations.
When asked what will happen if Mr. Kanu eventually returns to Nigeria, Mr. Shehu said his trial would be expected to continue.