The leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, has dragged the Nigerian Government alongside its Kenyan counterpart before the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, over the alleged violation of his fundamental human rights by the two governments.
Kanu, in the suit filed before the court based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, also requested that the court should mandate that the Nigerian Government returned him to the United Kingdom (UK) where he had spent many years.
The IPOB leader, through one of his lawyers, Aloy Ejimakor, demanded accountability over his extradition to Nigeria from Kenya where he visited in order to sort out personal issues before his eventual arrest by the East African nation security agencies.
Ejimakor, in a statement on Monday titled, ‘Re: Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’, said the IPOB leader, argued that both countries have extradition laws that prohibit unlawful conduct to their citizens.
The statement partly read, “Jurisdiction lies with the Commission because Nigeria and Kenya are State Parties to the African Charter; and Nigeria even took a step further to domesticate the Charter, thus making it part of her municipal laws.
“Both countries also have extradition laws that prohibit this sort of reprehensible conduct that saw Kanu to Nigeria. More particularly, extraordinary rendition is expressly prohibited under the African Charter, where It provides in pertinent part that “A State may not transfer (e.g. deport, expel, remove, extradite) an individual to the custody of another State unless it is prescribed by law and in accordance with due process and other international human rights obligations. Extraordinary rendition, or any other transfer, without due process, is prohibited”.
“A victim of extraordinary rendition is entitled to remedies mandated by the Charter. Therefore, among many other reliefs, I requested that Kanu be restored to his state of being before the rendition, which state of being was that he traveled to Kenya on his British passport and was duly admitted as such and as a free man.
“Further, that no valid territorial jurisdiction can issue from an act of extraordinary rendition because Kanu is, technically speaking, still in Kenya. And that the Nigerian bench warrant standing against Kanu is, in the absence of any successful extradition proceedings in Kenya, invalid to arrest in Kenya.
“I also requested the Commission to adopt other urgent measures as the Commission sees fit in the circumstances to protect Nnamdi Kanu in the interim. A fact-finding visitation to Nigeria is also in the reckoning.”
It would be recall that the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, had at a press briefing in Abuja on June 29, 2021, announced that the IPOB leader was arrested in a foreign country and extradited to Nigeria.
Kanu, who was born on September 25, 1967, is a holder of Nigerian and British passports. He had earlier jumped bail in June 2018 before leaving for the United Kingdom though he said that he fled because his life was no longer safe in Nigeria.
Upon his re-arrest and extradition in June 2021, he was re-arraigned before Justice Binta Nyako for terrorism-related charges and has since been remanded in the custody of the Department of State Services in Abuja.