Full Biography Of Nnamdi Kanu, The Leader Of IPOB

British-Nigerian political activist Nwannekaenyi Nnamdi Okwu Kanu, who was born on September 25, 1967, is in favor of Biafra’s independence and breakup from Nigeria. In 2014, he founded and serves as the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). The reinstatement of the Biafran separatist state that existed in Nigeria’s Eastern Region during the Nigerian Civil War is the main goal of IPOB (1967–1970).

Early Life and Education

On September 25, 1967, a few months after the Republic of Biafra proclaimed its independence from Nigeria, Kanu was born in Isiama Afara Ukwu, Umuahia, Abia state—within the claimed territory of Biafra. His mother, Ugoeze Nnenne Kanu, and father, Eze Israel Okwu Kanu (JP), were both traditional rulers of Nigeria.

He attended Library Avenue Primary School before continuing his senior school at Government College Umuahia. Before finishing his geography degree at the University of Nigeria in Nsukka, he relocated to the UK. His next stop was London Guildhall University, where he pursued a dual degree in politics and economics.


He began his activism for Biafra’s independence while serving as a director and anchor for Radio Biafra under Ralph Uwazuruike, the head of the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB). Uwazuruike claimed at a meeting on June 12, 2014, in Kaduna, Nigeria, that he had transferred control of Radio Biafra to Nnamdi Kanu, the leader Kanu was a relatively obscure figure before he founded Radio Biafra in 2009, which promoted the establishment of an independent Igbo state and aired to Nigeria from London. 2014 saw the founding of IPOB.

As the owner of the Radio Biafra radio station, which is licensed to broadcast in the UK, Kanu championed Biafran secession. After being detained on treason-related accusations in Lagos, Nigeria on October 14, 2015, Kanu was kept in custody for more than a year in spite of many court decisions calling for his release. Kanu frequently appeared in court wearing a shawl for prayer and a head covering. He stated in court that he “believes in Judaism,” identifies as a Jew, and regularly leads his Biafran people in taking part in various Jewish prayers and religious observances. Kanu was granted bail and let out of jail on April 28, 2017.

In early 2021, a low-intensity conflict erupted as the Nigerian security forces attempted to repress IPOB’s armed wing, the Eastern Security Network, as a result of Kanu’s attempts to elude punishment and jump bail. Despite the violence, Kanu emphasized that IPOB remained dedicated to reaching a peaceful resolution and securing Biafran independence without resorting to force. In June 2021, Interpol apprehended him and handed him over to Nigeria.

Personal Life

Uchechi Okwu Kanu, a lawyer with ties to Nigeria’s Abia state, is married to Nnamdi Kanu and resides in the UK. The couple wed on January 5, 2016, and their union was blessed with the birth of a son they called Nnabuikem.


Arrest & Detention

He was taken into custody on October 14, 2015, by the State Security Service (SSS) of the Federal Government of Nigeria in Ikeja, Lagos State, at the Golden Tulip Essential Hotel. The Department of State Services (DSS), Nigeria’s secret police, was said to have detained Kanu on October 18, 2015, in Lagos State. Kanu has disclosed this arrest to his counsel.

In a covert arraignment at Magistrate Court, Wuse 11, Nnamdi Kanu was granted bail, and on October 19 of same year, it was made public. The bail, however, was criticized as being “controversial,” and claims surfaced that the DSS had made the news to “calm the excited people of Biafra.”

Court Trial

According to reports, the Department of State Services (DSS) obtained a “secret court order to detain Nnamdi Kanu.” The DSS must present Kanu in court on November 23, 2015, according to a ruling from Abuja’s Magistrate Court 1. Kanu’s lawyer, Vincent Obetta, asserted in an interview that the prosecutor had given him a court document containing a court order authorizing the Department of State Services (DSS) to detain Kanu for the following three months in order to “conclude what they claimed was an investigation of terrorism and terrorism financing.”

Release and Disappearance

Kanu was released on bail on October 20, 2015, according to Vanguard. Despite media outlets supporting IPOB’s objectives, calling the bail “controversial,” and asserting that the DSS announced the bail only “to quiet the anxious people of Biafra,” Kanu was ultimately released on bail by Justice Binta Nyako due to health concerns.

Kanu disappeared from public view when the Nigerian military broke into his home in September 2017 and killed 28 members of IPOB. His whereabouts were much in question, and IPOB militants claimed that the Buhari administration had kidnapped him. But in October 2018, unidentified photos and videos that seem to show him in Israel surfaced. He was detained by Interpol in June 2021 and turned over to Nigeria.

Justice Benson Anya of the Abia State High Court ruled on January 19, 2022, that Kanu’s imprisonment in 2017 was unlawful, violated his human rights, and was “illegal” under national and international law. Kanu should further get N1 billion from the Nigerian government as restitution for violating his basic human rights, according to Anya’s ruling. Despite this choice, Kanu remained in custody and the trial went forward despite the filing of new charges against him and the ongoing discussion of the earlier ones. A political risk analysis company researcher namedIkemesit Effiongsuggested that Kanu’s final conviction was still likely,  as the “political will exists to make an example of a separatist leader who has caused the central government more than its fair share of headaches”.


Kanu has, since the beginning of his advocacy, made highly controversial comments on various occasions.

Death Threats and Calls for Violence

  • In September 2015, in a heated address to the World Igbo Congress in Los Angeles, Kanu said, “We need guns and we need bullets” in reference to armed conflict.
  • In 2015, after Deeper Christian Life Ministry Superintendent William Kumuyi said Nigeria would remain united, Kanu threatened his life, saying “Pastor Kumuyi should be stoned and dealt with thoroughly if he comes to Aba for his planned crusade.”
  • In 2017, a video of Kanu was released wherein he issued an open death threat to former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo. He had told a gathering of supporters at his home that if any harm comes to him, members of IPOB should eliminate Obasanjo and his lineage. This was in reference to Obasanjo’s statement at a gathering in Abuja that all must be done to stop IPOB.
  • Kanu said, “Nigeria should prepare for war; we are coming to annihilate you, my secret service are already studying the zoo and strategising” when referencing armed attacks by IPOB. “If you find anybody in your village asking after Radio Biafra, kill the baboon Hausa, Fulani, or Yoruba bastard. Let them keep searching as we keep tweeting for #Biafra.

Hate Speech

  • Hate speech against other ethnic groups and Igbos that do not support him, along with racially charged anti-black rhetoric:
  • “Niger Deltans are cowards; we know what to do to them.” Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta, Rivers, Edo, and Cross Rivers states are our territory, and anybody who tries to oppose us will be crushed.
  • “Yoruba Pentecostalism is the reason why Fulanis are invading us today.”
  • “Any army they [the Federal Government] send to Biafraland will die there. None will return alive. Even if it requires sacrificing my people, I will do it.”

Net Worth

His current net worth is unavailable.

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