Biafra: Nnamdi Kanu Denied Bail by Nigerian Court

Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of a prominent pro-Biafran group, has been denied bail by a Nigerian court and ordered to remain in jail ahead of his trial.

Judge John Tsoho ruled that Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), was a threat to national security and so should not be granted bail, according to Nigerian news site The Cable. The ruling was passed on Friday at a federal high court in the Nigerian capital Abuja and Kanu's case has been adjourned until February 9.

Nigeria's State Security Service (DSS) arrested Kanu in October 2015 on charges of ethnic incitement and sedition, and he has been in detention since then. Kanu runs a London-based underground outlet, Radio Biafra, which the Nigerian government has tried to block on previous occasions.

An Abuja court ordered that he be granted unconditional bail in December 2015, but Nigerian authorities immediately filed new charges against him, including treason and maintaining unlawful society. A court in Abuja ruled on January 20 that Kanu be transferred from DSS custody to Kuje Prison in the capital.

Thousands of pro-Biafran protesters have demonstrated across southeast Nigeria in recent months, calling for Kanu's release and for a referendum on independence for Biafra. Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has described Kanu as a flight risk and refused to release him from detention.

Nigerian military officer Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu established the republic of Biafra in 1967, sparking a three-year civil war with the Nigerian military in which more than one million people died, many due to hunger.