OUR VIEW ON Nnamdi Kanu — THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT
The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office stands ready to provide “consular” assistance on the question of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s British nationality, the British High Commission in Nigeria stated Wednesday.
On Tuesday, Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, was re-arrested abroad, returned home, and re-arraigned by the Federal Government, before being imprisoned by the Department of State Service, DSS, on a court order.
The UK help offer comes as the Kanu situation has produced unrest in the South-East, with the IPOB leader’s family protesting what they call their son’s “abduction” from Kenya to Nigeria, which they see as a violation of international law and basic rule of law norms.
Several attempts to contact Kenya’s High Commissioner to Nigeria, Ambassador Wilfred Machage, were unsuccessful.
The IPOB also claimed yesterday that its leader was kidnapped and not intercepted or detained as the Nigerian government stated, and that it will reveal the facts of his supposed kidnapping later.
Kanu’s travails have divided IPOB leaders and followers in Imo, just as former Aviation Minister and close ally of Kanu, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, warned the Nigerian government over Kanu’s detention, saying the IPOB leader must not die in captivity.
The World Igbo Congress, or WIC, also urged the UK to defend Kanu, a British citizen, against illegal kidnapping and extradition.
The Arewa Consultative Forum, or ACF, has praised the Federal Administration’s actions thus far, claiming that the government is capable of addressing the situation.
‘The United Kingdom will provide consular support.’
Dean Hurlock, the British High Commission’s Head of Communications in Abuja, said Wednesday that the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office was prepared to provide “consular” assistance to Nnamdi Kanu.
“In answer to any questions about whether Nnamdi Kanu was arrested in the UK or extradited from the UK, we can reassert that Nnamdi Kanu was neither arrested nor extradited from the UK,” he stated.
“With regard to any doubts regarding the legitimacy of his detention, the British High Commission in Abuja is now seeking clarity from the Nigerian government on the circumstances of his detention.
“In response to any questions regarding whether the British High Commission is assisting in this issue, we can clarify that the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office is prepared to provide “consular” support.
“In response to any concerns regarding the UK’s position on Nnamdi Kanu’s proposed legal process in Nigeria, the UK would expect any trial or legal proceedings to follow due process.
“For the time being, that is all we can say about the subject. I’ll be pleased to respond to any more inquiries as soon as possible.”
Kanu’s family is protesting his detention and extradition.
Nnamdi Kanu was wrongfully arrested in Kenya, held, and then subjected to extraordinary rendition from Kenya to Nigeria, according to a statement issued on behalf of the family by Kingsley Kanu.
“News has reached Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s family that he has been wrongfully arrested in Kenya, incarcerated, and has been subjected to extraordinary rendition from Kenya to Nigeria, where he is now detained,” the family said.
“The Indigenous People of Biafra are led by Nnamdi Kanu. Nnamdi Kanu, my brother, is fighting for Biafra’s right to self-determination. The United Nations’ laws safeguard people’s right to self-determination. My brother has been subjected to the most egregious violations of international law because Biafrans support Nnamdi Kanu’s desire for Biafran self-determination.
“Nnamdi Kanu was detained in Kenya and handed over to Nigerian officials, who flew him back to Nigeria. Kenya and Nigeria have subjected my brother to extraordinary renditions.
“They have transgressed against the most fundamental norms of the rule of law. One of the most serious crimes a state may commit is extraordinary rendition. Nigeria and Kenya must both be held accountable. Nnamdi Kanu, my brother, deserves justice.
“Nnamdi Kanu is a dual citizen of the United Kingdom and Nigeria. Nnamdi Kanu is not a Nigerian, but a Biafran. His Nigerian citizenship has been revoked. My brother’s urgent release must be demanded by the British High Commission in Nigeria.
“They must ensure his safety and security,” says the narrator. Nnamdi Kanu must be restored to his wife and sons in the United Kingdom.
“The Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, must make it clear to Nigerian authorities that wrongful imprisonment of British nationals will not be tolerated, and that the UK Government condemns Nigeria and Kenya for undermining the rule of law.
“Let me be clear, Foreign Secretary Raab. Those who use extraordinary rendition will face the consequences. The British government must insist on Nnamdi Kanu’s justice.”
IPOB says there will be no retreat from the Biafra struggle.
In a statement issued by IPOB’s Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, titled “Nothing should happen to our leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu,” the IPOB claimed that Kanu’s kidnapping was planned by the Nigerian government in collaboration with all those who see IPOB and Nnamdi Kanu as a stumbling block to their efforts to continue to attack Igbo communities and hold Biafrans in perpetual slack.
IPOB also stated that, despite Kanu’s alleged kidnapping and subsequent detention in DSS custody, all of its activities must continue unabated because they have crossed the Rubicon in their struggle and will never relent in their fight for Biafra independence, no matter how much intimidation and harassment they face.
“We, the global family of movement of the Indigenous People of Biafra, skillfully led by our great leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, desire to confirm the kidnapping of our leader by the Nigerian government and her security operatives,” the IPOB statement read in part. We’ll reveal the specifics of his kidnapping later.
“Our leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, is currently in the Nigerian government’s custody. The Nigerian government, in concert with all those who see IPOB and Mazi Nnamdi Kanu as a stumbling block to their ongoing attacks on Igbo communities and bid to keep Biafra in eternal slavery, masterminded this kidnapping.
“We, therefore, urge all IPOB members at home and abroad, as well as all Biafrans, to be calm because this is not the end of the road; our actions will continue unabated despite our leader’s kidnapping and arrest.
“Other the day of our leader’s next court appearance, July 26, 2021, we will mobilize to Court, and we call on Biafrans to mobilize and attend the court session.
“The IPOB would not give up the fight for Biafra independence. In our fight for the restoration of Biafran sovereignty, we have crossed the Rubicon. No matter how much our oppressors threaten us, there is no turning back.
“Regardless of the current situation, our Leader can never be forced to give up the fight for Biafra restoration.
“At this critical juncture in our struggle for independence, all members of the IPOB family must stand steadfast and resolute behind our noble leader. We will stand by him, and the God of the Heavens, in whom we put our trust and put our faith, will not fail us. We’re going to win!
“We want to attract the world’s attention to a remark made by one of our intelligence operatives, who said, “Please Nnamdi Kanu’s life is in danger… Don’t question it, don’t ask me how, and don’t talk to me about it in private.
“They are seriously considering poisoning his food while he is in custody or poisoning his skin through medical treatment, and trust me, they will succeed this time.
“As a result, we would like to remind the Nigerian government and security agencies that our leader is entitled to justice and a fair trial. We also want to emphasize unambiguously that our leader should not be harmed in any way.
“His life should not be interfered with in any way. If something bad happens to him, the Nigerian government will be held responsible, and we can tell you that Nigeria will pay the price.”
—IPOB in Imo: We don’t believe Kanu was detained.
According to them, until the Federal Government releases a video of the IPOB leader, they will regard it as hearsay.
IPOB members, they added, were still studying the situation before taking a stand.
“We have no fear. How do you know the man apprehended is Nnamdi Kanu, the head of the IPOB? That’s complete rubbish. You will soon hear from the horse’s mouth.
“What we know is that Britain has let us down, and now is the time to put an end to it. Nnamdi Kanu is still free, whether you like it or not. He has not been apprehended.
“Why did you refuse to disclose us the video of his court appearance if you had arrested him?” You’re detaining a man who hasn’t done anything. “Kanu has not been arrested, and if he is, this country will fall apart,” one of them said.
Fani-Kayode tells Buhari that Kanu must not die in jail.
Fani-Kayode urged the Federal Government to treat Kanu with kindness and respect while in jail in a tweet.
“The arrest and detention of @MaziNnamdiKanu is no longer breaking news. I advise the Attorney General to make sure he doesn’t die in detention and is treated with dignity, decorum, and respect,” he tweeted.
Kanu was apprehended by the Nigerian government and returned to the country to face his charges.
Kanu was detained on Sunday, according to Attorney-General of the Federation Abubakar Malami.
According to Malami, the IPOB commander was re-arrested as a result of a joint operation involving Nigerian and international security agents.