Nigeria’s Supreme Court has ruled that separatist leader Nnamdi Kanu should be kept in prison, overturning a 2022 judgment by a lower court that ordered his release.
The court also ruled that his terrorism trial at a lower federal court should continue.
In October last year, the Appeal Court dropped all charges against him after ruling that he had been illegally arrested abroad. His lawyers said he was detained in Kenya, which has not commented on whether it played a role in Mr Kanu’s deportation to Nigeria.
The court also ruled that his extradition was illegal.
Mr Kanu was never actually released and now following the Supreme Court decision, he will remain under the custody of the secret police as the government sets a date for the continuation of his trial.
He is the leader of the banned Indigenous People of Biafra (Ipob) group, which has been campaigning for the creation of an independent state in south-eastern Nigeria.
Mr Kanu was originally arrested in 2015 on treason and terrorism charges, which he denied. Mr Kano then fled Nigeria while out on bail.
In 2021 Mr Kanu, who holds a UK passport, was extradited back to Nigeria. It is believed he came from Kenya.
The Nigerian authorities have linked Ipob to numerous attacks on police stations and other government buildings in south-east Nigeria. The group denies any involvement.