Okwu-Kanu said she had been able to speak with Kanu only once since he was arrested by the DSS as he traveled to Nigeria from London in October. She warned that her husband’s health is worsening as he is no longer able to take medicine for “his life-threatening ulcer”.
Kanu is the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). IPOB and other pro-Biafran groups call for the independence of territories that constituted the Biafran Republic, established in 1967 and reannexed to Nigeria in 1970, following a civil war.
Uchechi Okwu-Kanu defended her husband’s struggle for independence and argued pro-Biafrans have the right to self-determination. She also urged the Nigerian government to release her husband and engage in dialogue rather than arresting people “who agitate for freedom”.
Kanu was due to appear in court on 1 December but his lawyer Vincent Obetta said the hearing had been postponed as the judge’s father had died and could not attend. Obetta and Kanu’s sister, Princess Chinwe Kanu, also expressed concern over what they described as Kanu’s “deteriorating health” after seeing him in court on 23 November, 2015.