Colonel Emeka Ojukwu did not release Chief Obafemi Awolowo. At the time of Chief Awolowo’s release, Colonel Ojukwu was Military Governor of the Eastern Region. Chief Awolowo was convicted and imprisoned by the Central Government in a federal prison in Calabar on September 11, 1963, for charges of conspiring with the Nkrumah administration in Ghana to overthrow the democratically elected government of Nigeria.
He was ordered released by the Gowon-led Federal Military Government on August 2, 1966 (the release took effect the next day). Gowon had only become Head of State on August 1, 1966.
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How could Ojukwu have released Awolowo in 1966 when he was still a military Governor under Nigeria? The Republic of Biafra was only declared on May 30, 1967, nine months AFTER Chief Awolowo’s release. Moreover, prison officials in Calabar were under the control of the Federal Government. Common sense dictates that that would have been impossible.
Because I know that Radio Biafra, and many irresponsible elders have deceived so many Nigerians, especially those of Southeastern origin, with this lie, I will now share a video of the day Chief Awolowo was released. You will see him being driven to Dodan Barracks to be received by Colonel Yakubu Gowon and Lt Colonel Murtala Muhammed.
I hope this video evidence dispels any lingering doubt!
After his release by the Gowon-led Federal Military on August 2, 1966 (the release took effect the next day), the new Military Head of State, Lt Colonel Yakubu Gowon, officially pardoned Chief Obafemi Awolowo on August 12, 1966.
I hope this finally puts paid to the propaganda by Radio Biafra that the then Military Governor of the Eastern Region, Lt Colonel Emeka Ojukwu, released Chief Awolowo.