The leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, spoke at the Federal High Court in Abuja on Tuesday, denying the allegation that his fleeing the country in September 2017 amounts to him jumping bail.
He said he only escaped to safety after the military invaded his house.
Mr Kanu, who is being prosecuted on charges of treasonable felony, was re-arrested and returned to Nigeria on Sunday, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, said earlier on Tuesday.
The AGF said, at a press conference in his office in Abuja, that the IPOB leader was arrested through “collaborative efforts of Nigerian intelligence and security services.”
Although, Mr Kanu is believed to have fled to the United Kingdom, the AGF did not give the details of the exact place of his arrest and the diplomatic collaborations the operation must have involved.
The trial judge, Binta Nyako, ordered the detention of Mr Kanu in the custody of the State Security Service (SSS) at his first court appearance since 2017 on Tuesday.
The judge also granted an accelerated hearing in the trial involving charges of treasonable felony filed against him.
Mrs Nyako, in the light of her order of accelerated hearing, brought the case earlier scheduled to come up on October 20, forward to July 26 and 27, 2021.
Earlier at Tuesday’s proceedings, the prosecuting counsel, Magaji Labaran moved an ex parte application urging the court to remand Mr Kanu in the SSS custody in Abuja.
He anchored his request on the grounds that the IPOB leader violated the conditions of the bail earlier granted him by the court.
After Mr Labaran’s submissions, Mr Kanu sought the trial judge’s permission to speak.
“I did not jump bail, My lord,” Mr Kanu said.
“I only went underground when the Nigerian armed forces raided my residence in Abia State, which led to the death of some people. So, I had to run for my safety,” Mr Kanu explained.
The judge went on to order him remanded in SSS custody and adjourned the trial till July 26.
The IPOB leader, who was earlier brought to court with a huge security presence on the premises of the Federal High Court in Abuja on Tuesday, was later whisked away through the rear exit gate of the court.