Nnamdi Kanu, who holds Nigerian and British passports, was arrested by security operatives outside his London base on Sunday.
He had been declared wanted by the Federal Government since 2017 after he jumped bail following the invasion of his country home in Abia State by soldiers.
A source disclosed that Kanu was arrested while leaving Israel for an unknown country but this could not be independently verified on Tuesday.
The source stated, “The request for the arrest of Kanu was made to the INTERPOL headquarters in Lyon, France, about two months ago. Kanu could not be arrested at his London base because he is a British citizen and repatriating him to Nigeria may be challenging and the process cumbersome.
“So, the security agencies waited patiently for him to leave the British soil before moving against him; he was arrested while on transit. There was evidence of his meetings with foreign governments to solicit support for Biafra.”
The source also referenced the suspension of Twitter by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), who justified his action by stating that Kanu used his Twitter account with 300,000 followers “to instruct his loyalists to kill Nigerian soldiers and police officers”.
Another source corroborated that Kanu was nabbed while on transit but said he could not confirm the exact location.
“The Nigerian government used conventional diplomatic means to facilitate the arrest of Kanu through the INTERPOL. There are also suggestions that our intelligence agencies played a role in the arrest and extradition process. It was confirmed that Kanu was picked up while on transit but the location cannot be immediately confirmed,” the source volunteered.
As part of strategies to arrest the separatist group leader, the President was said to have met with the French President, Emmanuel Macron, in May during a summit on the financing of African post-COVID economies convened by the French government, where he sought Macron and INTERPOL’s support for the arrest of Kanu.