The younger brother of Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the illegal Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Kingsley Kanu, has denied being removed from his position as the organisation's leader.
Kingsley said he is still an official member of the group on Monday.
Collins Chinedu, the national coordinator for IPOB in Germany, is said to have signed the suspension order.
Kingsley was dismissed from IPOB, according to a statement made public on Sunday night. It said that he had established a competing leadership in Germany and ignored the group's principles of conduct.
The leadership charged Kingsley with "imposing and parading an expelled member of IPOB, Ogbenna Abraham as the new National Coordinator for Germany with the sole goal to foment discord within the current organisation in Germany."
Kingsley responded on social media, claiming that Kanu, the leader of IPOB, had already fired Chinedu as the group's national coordinator for Germany and that therefore Chinedu, who signed the suspension order, lacked the ability to terminate him.
“I am born for a day like this, Kanunta Kanu is very much around,” he said.
Kingsley, also known as Kanunta, posted a screenshot of a tweet by Alloy Ejimakor, Kanu’s lawyer, in which Ejimakor claimed that Kanu had ordered the IPOB leadership to replace Chinedu with Ogbenna Abraham from detention last year.
“This is to inform the general public that Collins Chinedu was officially expelled from the IPOB family in Germany by Mazi Nnamdi Kanu on 28:11:2022 through Aloy Ejimakor. And his successor is Mazi Ogbonna Abraham,” he said.
Checking Ejimakor’s Twitter profile reveals that after meeting with Kanu in November of last year, the lawyer declared that Kanu had instructed IPOB Director of State Affairs Chika Edoziem to name Abraham as the new interim coordinator for Germany.
Onyendu “asked me to make public that he had asked one of his lawyers to do a memo to Mazi Chika Edoziem announcing Ogbonna Abraham as the new Interim Coordinator for Germany,” Ejimakor stated on Twitter, citing a meeting with Onyendu.
In a separate statement, Kingsley said that his problems with the DOS stemmed from their disregard for Kanu’s commands.
He wrote: “If you want to see the best of Kanunta Kanu, obey Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s orders without any hesitation. That is my problem with the cabals @real_IpobDOS. That is the fact,” he wrote.
Abraham, the German factional coordinator, has also commented on the sanctions.
On Monday, Abraham published a statement reiterating IPOB’s expulsion of Chinedu at Kanu’s behest.
He said: “This is to formally notify all members of the IPOB family and the general public that Mr Collins Chinedu was expelled from IPOB by Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.
“This was made public and official by Mazi Nnamdi Kanu on the 28th day of November 2022 through Barr. Alloy Ejimakor.
“Please, disregard any information coming from him as he is no longer the national coordinator of Germany and neither is he a member of the IPOB family at large so he no longer possesses the power or authority to suspend anyone or take any decision on behalf of the family,” he added.
Abraham continued by saying that Kanu is still the top dog in IPOB and that disobeying his commands will not end well.
“Need I remind us that Mazi Nnamdi Kanu is and remains the highest authority as far as the present IPOB is concerned?
“Every member of IPOB is expected to respect and work under his authority because he has sacrificed a lot for this cause.
“We wouldn’t be here if he had not stood his ground. His intentions are pure and so are his decisions. So, let all of us keep this in mind before we decide to defy his instructions,” he added.
IPOB is at the forefront of the movement for a Biafran republic to be separated from Nigeria’s South East and South-south regions.
Its accused leader Kanu is currently on trial for terrorism charges in Abuja.
IPOB has struggled to maintain its unity since Kanu’s arrest and detention, but its leaders appear to be increasingly fighting with one another.
It is believed that Simon Ekpa, a disciple of Kanu’s, split off from the organisation last year and founded their faction known as the autopilots, which is blamed for most of the deadly attacks in Southeast Nigeria.