By THE WHISTLER
Kenya, Britain and Nigeria’s refusal to obey court orders and abide by established principles are behind the continued detention of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB. The group is seeking the liberation of the old Eastern Region from Nigeria.
Barr Aloy Ejimakor, Kanu’s special counsel, tweeted this on Sunday. Recall that Kanu was in 2021 arrested and detained in Kenya, and later forcefully brought to Nigeria, where he is being held at the headquarters of the Department of State Services in Abuja. Hitherto, he was charged with running a proscribed group, jumping bail and treason.
Ejimakor tweeted, “Kanu would’ve been freed if Kenya showed contrition by demanding his return to Kenya; if Britain protected him like they protected Umaru Dikko in 1984, and if Nigeria decides to obey the law. #MNK’s ordeal is a conspiracy of three nations against one man!”
Ejimakor’s assertions, among others, are premised on Nigeria’s Appeal Court ruling of 13th Oct. 2022 which acquitted and discharged Kanu, although then President Muhammadu Buhari’s attorney general, Mr Abubakar Malami, refused to obey the ruling, rather sought stay-of-execution from the Supreme Court.
Justice Adedotun Adefope-Okojie, who read the judgement, stated that the federal government failed to show how it complied with the procedures for the extradition of Kanu. She stated that Nigeria ought to know how to play by the rules, adding that courts owed Nigerians duties to ensure that the executive abided by the laws. Quoting the court, “No court can try him going by the circumstances of the extra-ordinary rendition.”
Similarly, a Federal High Court in Umuahia, Abia State, earlier ordered the FG to return Kanu to Kenya as well as pay him N500m as damages for his illegal abduction and violation of his fundamental human rights. The case was instituted by Kanu’s special counsel, Aloy Ejimakor.
The High Court of Abia State, on Jan 19th 2022, also ruled against FG in the case of jumping bail in 2017 as instituted by Ejimakor. The trail judge, Benson Anya, ruled that Kanu’s home at Afara Ukwu, Umuahia North of the state, was invaded by the military while he was on bail in September 2017. He stated that the act was an infringement on his fundamental rights to life, dignity of his person, his personal liberty and fair hearing as guaranteed under the Nigerian Constitution and the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights. While condemning the act, the judge described it as ‘notorious and brazen’. He also advised FG to consider ‘political alternatives in resolving the issues of extradition, detention and trial’.
Aside these, the United Nations Human Rights Council’s Working Group on Arbitrary Detention in 2022 called on Nigeria to release Kanu. The group stated that Kanu’s agitation for the sovereignty of Biafra is his right to freedom, and violates no international laws.
Bruce Fein, Kanu’s international lawyer, corroborates Ejimakor on how Britain’s inaction aggravates Kanu’s incarceration. Fein had in August last year urged the then British high commissioner to Nigeria to use her good offices to effect the release of Kanu. According to him, “The villainous maltreatment of Kanu by Nigeria and Kenya prompted the Working Group to refer his case to Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”
Recalling how Britain intervened in the case of Captain Jenkins, Fein wrote, “Nnamdi Kanu is a British citizen. He has suffered far more that Captain Jenkins at the hands of Nigeria and Kenya. It is unacceptable under the law or God that Great Britain would disclaim against the former and ignore the latter.”
THE WHISTLER reports that Britain, in 1984, foiled Nigeria and Israeli attempts to kidnap Alhaji Umaru Dikko, former Nigerian minister who was exiled in the UK. He was then accused of stealing government’s $1bn. Dikko’s kidnap was foiled by UK Customs officer Charles Morrow, who alerted UK authorities. The attempt broke down Nigeria’s ties with Britain for two years.
Culled from THE WHISTLER