Nnamdi Kanu’s lawyer writes UK lawmakers over continued detention
Nnamdi Kanu, IPOB Leader
Aloy Ejimakor, the Special Counsel to the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, has petitioned the House of Lords in the United Kingdom over the continued detention of the IPOB leader in Nigeria.
In a letter dated 18th January, 2024, seen by Vanguard, Ejimakor highlighted Kanu’s experience from his rendition from Kenya to Nigeria in 2021.
The lawyer disclosed that Kanu is a self-determination leader and British citizen, who needs the support of the UK lawmakers to regain his freedom, calling on the attention of the International Relations and Defence Committee of the House
The letter read in parts, “We are Solicitors to above-named British citizen (hereafter: Mr Kanu), on whose behalf and firm Instructions we write and submit this Petition.
“For ease of reference, the following is a summary of the background information on this matter:
“Mr. Kanu, a British national, is a political activist, advocating for self-determination for the people of Biafra (Eastern Nigeria), with the singular aim of creation of a sovereign State of Biafra from Nigeria through referendum. He is the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) which he founded in 2012 for the purpose of actualization of the creation of the State of Biafra.
“The IPOB is registered as a legal entity in the United Kingdom, And it has numerous offices and chapters around the world. It operates in the open as a nonviolent group, including in Nigeria before the Government of Nigeria (GON) unfairly proscribed/declared it in 2017.
“As a direct consequence of the said military invasion and the nationwide manhunt for him, Mr Kanu was compelled to flee Nigeria in search of refuge and to save his life. In the course of his involuntary exile, Mr. Kanu, on 12th May 2021, entered the Republic Kenya as a British subject and was legally admitted on his British passport. After his admission, he settled-in at a temporary location in Nairobi, Kenya.
“After failing in the objective of killing Mr. Kanu during the September 2017 military operation against him, and being aware that he had taken refuge in Kenya, security forces of the GON hotly pursued Mr. Kanu to Kenya and laid in wait and ambush for him.
“On June 19, 2021, Mr. Kanu drove himself to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi, Kenya on a personal errand. As soon as he pulled to a stop at the parking lot and alighted from his vehicle, several armed security agents working for GON violently accosted and abducted him, handcuffed him, blindfolded him, bundled him in a vehicle and sped away.
“The abductors took him to a nondescript private house (not a police station or other official location) somewhere in Nairobi, Kenya and chained him to the floor. Mr. Kanu was not shown any Kenyan arrest warrant or extradition warrant, nor was he informed of the existence of any such warrant. His abductors took turns beating him and torturing him, taunting him and verbally degraded him.
“On the eight day (27th June, 2021), his abductors brought him out of the house, put him in a vehicle, drove him straight to the tarmac of Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, where they evaded Kenyan immigration and forcibly bundled him into a private jet that departed the airport at about 12 noon on same June 27, 2021 and arrived Abuja, Nigeria in the evening of same day.
“On arrival in Nigeria, Mr. Kanu was taken to and detained at the facility of the State Security Services (SSS)/Nigerian Intelligence Agency (NIS) in Abuja, where he spent the first night, sleeping on the floor with very bright electric bulbs deliberately left on throughout the night.
“On 15th December 2023, the Nigerian Supreme Court remitted Mr. Kanu’s case back to the originating High Court to consider the charges will stand against him. However, the apex Court strongly condemned both the said military attacks against Mr. Kanu and his extraordinary rendition. Till date, however, the case file is yet to be transmitted to the High Court and the said judgment of remittal is yet to be enrolled and certified, thus leading to a situation where Mr. Kanu remains in limbo without any clear prospects of ever being brought to trial since this saga begin almost nine years ago in 2015.
“Additionally, Mr. Kanu is gravely ill with three life-threatening conditions, namely a serious heart condition, hypertension and low potassium levels. All of these serious conditions demand specialist medical care and interventions that are not available at the facility where he is being detained or even in Nigeria as a whole. And the GON is fully aware of this.
“In view of the foregoing we hereby most respectfully present the following Prayers for the consideration of House of Lords.
“I, urgently intervene with His Majesty’s Government, strongly urging it to promptly make demands on the GON to unconditionally release Mr Kanu from detention and repatriate him to the United Kingdom; and to levy sanctions against the GON if it fails to comply within a reasonable time. It is pertinent to stress the point that extraordinary rendition inherently destroys every prospect for a fair trial in the jurisdiction that levied the rendition.”