Kingsley Kanu, brother of Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), said the separatist leader was “unlawfully” arrested and detained in Kenya before being deported to Nigeria.
In a statement on Wednesday, June 30, 2021, the younger Kanu said his brother was visiting Kenya when he was unlawfully detained and “handed over to the Nigerian authorities who then flew him to Nigeria.”
Nigerian Government had on Tuesday, June 29, 2021 announced Kanu’s arrest and extradition to Nigeria to continue to face trial.
He was immediately arraigned with his face hooded before Binta Nyako, a Federal High Court Judge in Abuja.
Kanu is facing charges bordering on treasonable felony over calls for secession and the establishment of Republic of Biafra.
The court ruled that he be remanded in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS) pending the continuation of his trial on July 26.
He was first granted bail in April 2017 for health reasons but jumped bail after defying some of the conditions given to him by the court. He then fled abroad.
“My brother Nnamdi Kanu demands the right to self-determination for Biafra. Self-determination is the right that underpins the United Nations,” Kanu’s brother said.
“Because Biafrans support Nnamdi Kanu’s call for Biafran self-determination, my brother has now been subjected to the most serious violations of international law.”
He accused the Nigerian government of extraordinary rendition which “is one of the most serious crimes states can commit.”
“Both Nigeria and Kenya must be held to account. I demand justice for my brother, Nnamdi Kanu,” he said.
“Nnamdi Kanu holds both British and Nigerian citizenship. Nnamdi Kanu is Biafran, not Nigerian. He has rejected his Nigerian citizenship.”
He said the British High Commission in Nigeria must insist upon his brother’s immediate release and guarantee his safety and security.
“Nnamdi Kanu must be returned home to the UK to his wife and his sons who live here. The Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, must make clear to the Nigerian authorities that they will not tolerate the unlawful detention of British citizens and that the UK Government condemns the Nigerians and Kenyans for undermining the rule of law. Foreign Secretary Raab must be clear,” he said.
“There will be consequences for those who resort to extraordinary rendition. The British Government must insist upon justice for Nnamdi Kanu,” he added.
Group calls for Kanu’s safety
Nzuko Umunna, a Southeast Nigeria group has however, called on the Nigerian Government to ensure Kanu’s safety while in custody.
In a statement by Joe Odumuko and Uju Agomoh, its Executive Secretary and Deputy Executive Secretary respectively, Nzuko Umunna said Kanu’s arrest must be in accordance with international law and conventions to which Nigeria is obligated.
It urged the government to ensure that Kanu is fairly tried, adding that the government must oversee the prosecution of “any person or group that has issued threats to Kanu’s life”.
“We ask the Government to ensure that Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s fundamental rights are secured to the fullest extent possible,” the statement read.
“It is noteworthy that Section 31 of the Nigerian Constitution and Article 4 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights obligates the Federal Government to ensure that Nnamdi Kanu does not suffer any bodily harm while in the custody of the state and its agencies.”
“It bears repeating that it is the responsibility of the Federal Government to secure the bodily integrity and personal dignity of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu while in its custody.”
The group threatened to hold the Nigerian government and all state actors to account on the obligation to protect human rights under domestic and international laws to “the fullest extent possible.”
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