Although he has been in detention for over four months by the Federal Government, the leader of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), Mr. Nnamdi Kanu, remains in high spirits, his younger brother, Prince Fineboy Kanu, has said.
In an exclusive interview with The AUTHORITY, Prince Kanu disclosed that he personally handles Kanu’s welfare issues, especially his feeding in Kuje Medium Prison in Abuja.
According to Fineboy, the family is totally responsible for Kanu’s feeding in prison because the IPOB leader does not eat the state’s food.
Asked if it was Kanu’s safety that informed the family’s handling of his meals, Fineboy said it was because the prison authorities cannot prepare the food that his brother likes.
Kanu, who is also the Director of Radio Biafra, has been in detention since October 14, 2015, when he was arrested by operatives of the Department of State Security (DSS) upon his arrival in Nigeria from his base in the United Kingdom (UK).
Kanu and his co-defendants are on trial by the Federal Government for treasonable felony, an offence punishable under Section 41(C) of the Criminal Code Act, CAP C38 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria.
The government also accused Kanu of managing the affairs of “an unlawful society” and smuggling radio transmitters into Nigeria, which he used to disseminate “hate broadcasts” and encourage the “secession of the Republic of Biafra” from Nigeria.
Prince Kanu, who described his brother’s incarceration at the Kuje Prison as pathetic, added that “Kanu remains highly-spirited and determined.”
He hinted that the IPOB leader is denied access to newspapers as well as any other channels of mass communication since his arrest and subsequent detention.
“Kanu told me that the prison authorities don’t allow him to read newspapers. This is somebody who is already in detention; of course, he comes to court whenever he is needed. What stops the authorities from allowing him to read newspapers? Why won’t they allow him to read the newspapers? What has reading got to do with his detention?” Prince Kanu queried.
Narrating how he takes food to his brother in detention, Prince Kanu said:
“There is a process that you have to go through even when you bring the food for him; beginning from the first security at the gate, the second, the third one before you get to the last place which is the Holding Centre. Of course, when you arrive, you will be asked to open the food. The prison officials would look through the food and compel you to taste the food before it can be given to him, and that is the normal procedure.”
Fineboy disclosed that when he eventually gets to the final place (the fourth point), he usually meets his brother in what is called the “common room” just like the university common room.
“It is at this point that I drop the food for him to eat,” he said.
On why the state is not feeding the detainee, Prince Kanu explained that the arrangement by the family is better because the prison authorities may not be able to give him the type of food he desires at any point in time.
The younger Kanu stated that he relocated to Abuja to specifically cater for the domestic needs of his elder brother while in prison, adding that he daily visits the prison with his basket of food which covers breakfast, lunch and dinner.
When asked how Kanu received the news when his wife gave birth to their child, he disclosed that he (Prince Kanu) broke the good news to him at the courtroom and he was elated. He said his brother did not however christen the baby, probably because he is yet to see the baby.
According to him, the detained Kanu is a very caring and organised person right from their young age. He said Kanu used to cook and serve them food, adding that “he is a wonderful leader of men.”
He also said that his father, His Royal Majesty Eze Kanu and mother are missing their son, Nnamdi, but have taken it in their strides with equanimity.