The crisis rocking the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has taken a more dramatic dimension as close relations of its leader, Nnamdi Kanu, are at loggerheads over foreign bank accounts operated by the group, POLITICS NIGERIA can report authoritatively.
This newspaper, in the previous weeks, reported the multiple divisive crises that struck the group following the arrest and continued detention of Kanu. One of the problems facing the group is the issuing of unauthorised statements by members of Kanu’s family, which caused a sharp divide among IPOB members globally.
But more recently, the group is mired in deep problems over access to funds and change of signatories to its foreign bank accounts operated in different countries.
Central in this furore are members of Kanu’s family who are beginning to fight each other over the control of the accounts. This, if not resolved, may plunge the already divided group into complete chaos, sources, including a top-ranking IPOB chief, familiar with the inner workings of the group revealed to our correspondent.
Since the group runs on donations from its supporters in diaspora, it is believed that this crisis can put it in a financial situation that may halt operations of all IPOB branches.
Worries from detention
Kanu, since his arrest and repatriation back to Nigeria in 2021, has only had access to the group’s funds through his proxies and Directorate of States (DOS). The DOS is saddled with responsibility of catering for IPOB interests in various countries spread across Europe, Africa, Asia and other continents.
However, in recent times most of the foreign accounts have been frozen due to one issue or the other. Since Kanu is facing treasonable felony charges and still in detention, all of these concerns could not be properly treated.
Instead, the IPOB leader gives instructions from detention through his lawyers and other senior members of the group.
German Account Saga
During a recent meeting with Kanu, one of the group’s members complained that they are having issues with the new IPOB bank account in Germany. According to our source, a German Court restricted access to the account due to disagreement in replacing the signatory to the account.
The member explained that when they wanted to replace Collins Chinedu, a former national coordinator of IPOB in Germany, with Abraham Ogbonnaya.
A move that was fiercely resisted as the the IPOB directorate of States(DOS) led by Chika Edoziem, who quickly wrote a public disclaimer describing Ogbonnaya as a criminal.
In fact, in the heat of the crisis in Germany, Kanu’s younger brother, Kingsley Kanu, was accused of imposing Ogbonnaya as the new National Coordinator for Germany with the sole intent to cause division within the existing structure. Edoziem, in a letter to the bank insisted that Chinedu, being the one whose name is in their constitution in Germany, should be the one to operate the bank account.
Meanwhile, as a way of resolving the conflict, Kanu’s lawyer, Ejimakor then sought his(Kanu’s) approval for funds to be paid into the national account.
He disclosed that Washington would raise $5000, Baltimore $10,000, New Jersey $20,000 and New York $20,000.
Our source stated: “Kanu expressed displeasure over the inability to access bank accounts in Germany and Italy.”
“Ejimakor explained that the issues were caused by ongoing battle over change of Signatories to the accounts.”
“He told Kanu that the account in Germany was blocked based on a memo from Kingsley seeking to change the signatories to the account and that Kingsley claimed that he (Nnamdi) authorised the memo, Kanu denied giving such authorisation.”
Nnenna Kanu and Emmanuel Kanu
While the control of funds in the Italian and German branches of the IPOB is still subject of controversy, two members of Kanu’s family are fighting over the money in the United States.
Nnenna Kanu and Emmanuel Kanu, two siblings of the IPOB leader, want the control of IPOB’s bank account in the US. Recently, Nnenna did a live broadcast where she publicly insulted Emmanuel and accused him of interfering with her duties.
In a rebuttal, Emmanuel claimed that he is acting on the orders of their elder brother(Nnamdi).
Sources told POLITICS NIGERIA that Nnamdi Kanu, on getting whiff of the development, was miffed that his younger sister, Nnenna, has been flouting his directives regarding IPOB bank accounts in the US.
He also admitted detailing Emmanuel to ensure Nnenna complies with his directives which may have led to the disagreement.
IPOB DOS bars payments to German Account
In a brash response to the power tussle over account control, the IPOB directorate of State (DOS) in a recent press statement, called on all its members to desist from paying donations/funds into the group’s German account.
The statement signed by Edoziem in February read in part;
“All IPOB family members worldwide are therefore directed to stop making payments into the IPOB account in Germany because any payment made will be returned to the payee and this will direct unnecessary attention to the family.”
“Furthermore, please note that until the Directorate ascertain what actually happened to that account and why it was closed, all IPOB family units around the world are hereby directed to desist from sending their monthly dues or any funds”.
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