Ukamaka Ejezie, otherwise known as Mama Biafra, has been released by Nigeria’s secret police, State Security Service (SSS), after more than three months in detention.
Mrs Ejezie, a foster mother to Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), was released Saturday evening in Abuja.
She was arrested during Mr Kanu’s trial in Federal High Court, Abuja, on 18 May.
Ifeanyi Ejiofor, the lead counsel to the IPOB leader, disclosed this in a statement on Sunday.
“I am delighted to inform you all that Ukamaka Ejezie (Mama Biafra) has regained her freedom,” he said. “She is now out of the SSS dungeon.”
Mr Ejiofor said the legal team would not relent until they secure the release of all “prisoners of conscience,” who are being detained in the SSS facility, including Mr Kanu.
“We in the legal team, are doing everything legally permissible to make it happen, we are not resting on our oars at all, be assured,” the lawyer added.
Mrs Ejezie is said to have been acting as Mr Kanu’s mother since his parents died in 2020.
The 80-year-old woman had gone to support the IPOB leader during his trial when she was arrested by the SSS operatives around the court premises.
No reason was given for her arrest.
The octogenarian was not charged with any offence.
Mr Kanu had demanded her release after she was arrested.
“I saw her at the SSS detention cell after her clothes were washed and spread on the wall. I demand that she be released because she committed no crime,” Mr Kanu had said in May, shortly after her arrest.
“She is an old woman and since my mother died, I have taken her as my mother. The SSS should release her,” he further demanded.
Mr Kanu is being detained in the SSS facility and is standing trial for terrorism in Abuja.
The IPOB leader was first arrested in October 2015, but granted bail on medical grounds in 2017.
He later fled the country after the invasion of his home in Afara-Ukwu, near Umuahia, Abia State, by military forces in September of that year.
In June 2021, the IPOB leader was re-arrested and brought back to Nigeria from Kenya, to continue his trial.
He is billed to appear in court again on 14 November.
IPOB is leading the agitation for an independent state of Biafra which they want to be carved out from the South-east and some parts of south-south Nigeria.
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