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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Nnamdi Kanu requests UK intervention in his arrest and trial

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Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), has called on UK authorities to intervene in his trial and detention at Nigerian State Security Service (SSS) facilities.

Since his re-arrest in July 2021, Kanu, a British-Nigerian national, has been detained in SSS facilities. He is facing trial for terrorism at a Federal High Court in Abuja.

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In a letter dated January 18 and addressed to the House of Commons, the lower house of the UK parliament, the IPOB leader called on lawmakers to convince the UK government to intervene in his issue in Nigeria.

Aloy Ejimakor, Kanu’s special counsel, who signed the letter, said he had instructions from the IPOB leader to do so.

Kanu, in the letter to parliament, detailed how he was first arrested, his initial trial and how he fled Nigeria after Nigerian security forces invaded his hometown in Abia state in southeastern Nigeria.

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Prayers

The IPOB leader, in the letter, presented some prayers that he asked parliament to consider for possible implementation.

“Urgently intervene with Her Majesty’s (United Kingdom) Government, strongly urging it to promptly demand from the Nigerian Government the unconditional release of Mr Kanu and his repatriation to the United Kingdom and to impose sanctions against the Nigerian Government if it fails to do so. does. comply within a reasonable time,” the letter read in part.

Kanu argued in the letter that his extraordinary rendition to Nigeria from Kenya “inherently destroys any prospect of a fair trial in a jurisdiction that imposed rendition.”

He cited previous court rulings in the United Kingdom to support his position.

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The IPOB leader said that, as an alternative, parliament should “quickly intervene with Her Majesty’s Government, strongly urging it to make binding proposals to the Nigerian Government to agree to conduct” his trial in the UK instead Nigeria.

He argued that since the charges brought against him by the Nigerian government were allegedly committed by him in the United Kingdom, there are legal reasons why he should be tried in the United Kingdom, rather than Nigeria.

Kanu cited his British-Nigerian citizenship, human rights concerns, existing Nigerian-British diplomatic considerations, security, fair trial and the prospect of political interference as some of the reasons why he should be tried in the Kingdom. United.

Kanu said that if it proves impossible to hold his trial in the UK, parliament could alternatively intervene with Her Majesty’s Government, urging it to make a binding proposal to the Nigerian government to agree to hold his trial in a “third country.” mutually agreed neutral, other than Nigeria and the United Kingdom, as was done in the Lockerbie trial against Libyan citizens.”

Why the request for assistance

The letter said the decision to submit the application to parliament was prompted by the “undue levity” with which the UK government has so far handled the Kanu matter.

He said the IPOB leader believes he “has not been afforded all the legal and diplomatic protections to which he is entitled as a bona fide British subject”.

READ ALSO: Nnamdi Kanu denounces delay in transmission of his file to Abuja court

The letter stated that Ejimakor, Kanu’s legal team in the United Kingdom and the international lawyer of IPOB leader in the United States, Bruce Fein, are available to “appear personally” before parliament whenever he deems it necessary during the consideration of the petition. .

Background

Kanu, the leader of IPOB, was first arrested in 2015 under the administration of then Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari.

The Court of Appeal in Abuja, on October 13, 2022, held that the IPOB leader was extraordinarily surrendered to Nigeria and that the action constituted a flagrant violation of the country’s extradition treaty and also a violation of his fundamental human rights.

The court therefore quashed the terrorism charges brought against Kanu by the Nigerian government and ordered his release from the SSS premises.

But the government refused to release the IPOB leader, insisting that he (Kanu) may not be available in subsequent court proceedings if he is released and that his release would cause insecurity in the South East, where he hails from.

Subsequently, the government, through the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation, appealed the court ruling and subsequently obtained an order suspending the execution of the court ruling before the Supreme Court.

Delivering judgment on the appeal on December 15, the Supreme Court reversed the acquittal granted to Mr. Kanu by the lower court and accordingly ordered the continuation of his trial at the Federal High Court in Abuja.

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