October 17 is the day Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), is expected to appear at the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja. But he is not likely to be seen in court. Heavily armed Nigerian soldiers invaded his country home on September 14 and allegedly killed some people. Since then, Kanu has not been seen in public, triggering rumours in certain quarters that he might have been killed or seized by the armed men.
His lawyer Monday hinted that the Nigerian government may be asked to produce Kanu in court, since he was the target of the invasion of September 14.
The hawks hoping to seize Kanu after his appearance today may be disappointed. The court, which had released Kanu on bail with almost-impossible-to-keep conditions in May, the hawks hoped, would cancel his bail and order his return to jail.
IPOB has not been a violent group, but hundreds of its members have been shot and killed during peaceful rallies. Governors from the south-east proscribed its activities apparently to convince the federal authorities that they were not backing it.. The politicians have been negotiating with the federal government for enjoyment of the reliefs sought by IPOB.
The drama expected in court Tuesday is likely to provoke more debates in a country that rewards talkers but hates doers.