There is an ongoing crisis within the leadership circles of the Indigenous People of Biafra over who should be the main custodian of the group’s bank accounts with the incarceration of its leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu by the Federal Government.
The major contenders, according to Vanguard, includes two close relatives of the IPoB leader.
The newspaper said Kanu’s siblings have laid claims to the fact that they are the rightful authorities to keep and maintain the many accounts of the group given their proximity to Kanu and their contributions to the activities body.
Reliable sources said the huge amount being kept in several bank accounts in many jurisdictions, is mostly from freewill donations by individuals to support the group’s agitation.
It was gathered from insider sources that while Kanu had instructed that some of the accounts be manned by some of his siblings and trusted allies, the disagreement between one of his male and female relatives has not helped matters.
A competent source familiar with IPoB’s operations confirmed to our correspondent that the male sibling of Kanu, who claims to be superior in rank in the affairs of the body, did not want the female member of the family to control any of the accounts on the grounds that she did not understand the structure of the group.
It was learnt a similar scenario is fast playing out in the United States where both siblings of the detained IPoB leader are also in a contest to control the bank accounts of the group in that country. But Kanu is reported to have ordered the female relatives to keep off the account for the male relative to manage until further notice.
In a bid to resolve the lingering crisis, Kanu’s lawyer and other key stakeholders of the group, met with the detained IPoB leader in Abuja on February 23, 2023, and presented the issue and other matters of concern to him and sought his approval to get them resolved without further delay.
Vanguard gathered that Kanu’s lawyer’s key lieutenants made a suggestion that all the cash in the disputed accounts should be immediately transferred to its national account and managed by one trusted ally to avoid the current unhealthy battle to control them.
Meanwhile, a British diplomat, Heather Wilkie, had paid a visit to the detained IPoB leader in the DSS custody to see how he was doing in detention and what could be done for him as a UK citizen.
Kanu, according to reports, used the opportunity of the visit of the diplomat on February 7, 2023, to plead with the UK government to prevail on Nigeria to free him before the Buhari government leaves office in May this year.
Kanu is said to have complained to the UK diplomat that despite the regular visits paid to him by the representatives of the government, that country had not done enough to secure his release as a British citizen.
He is said to have expressed the fear that if he was not released before the expiration of the tenure of the Buhari administration, which incarcerated him, it might take a fresh round of legal battles to free him under a new administration.