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Nigerian government lacks the audacity to try Nnamdi Kanu

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… Extraordinary rendition is unconstitutional, illicit and verboten

By Jeffery Orji

The case of Nnamdi Kanu’s extradition into the country from Kenya on the 27th of June is a case of slaughter and infringement of his fundamental rights because he entered Kenya legitimately for medical reasons specifically for a heart challenge and was attended to in Kenyan hospitals. What happened to the IPOD leader is globally referred as extraordinary rendition which is a crime by the state against the right of an individual. If a private individual violently abducts or illegally seizes another individual, it is called kidnapping. You know as I know that kidnapping in some jurisdictions is a capital offence. But in a situation a state is found guilty of such, it is called extra-ordinary rendition. So if a fugitive or a suspect is rendered by the state, then such state has lost the jurisdiction to try that suspect. Such state has committed an international crime. Such state broke her own laws, broke the laws of the third state whose jurisdiction it renditioned the individual. The state equally broke the laws of the second state of the nationality of that individual. Funny enough, the laws of the three national jurisdiction namely, Nigeria, Kenya and Britain all prohibits this act that is playing out here. Looking at it extensively, the laws of the international community as the forth component was equally broken.

For the sake of more clarity, extraordinary rendition, also called irregular rendition or forced rendition according to Wikipedia is the government-sponsored abduction and extrajudicial transfer of a person from one country to another with the purpose of circumventing the former country’s laws on interrogation, detention, extradition and/or torture. As a matter of fact, it is the transfer without legal process of a detainee to the custody of a foreign government for purposes of detention and interrogation. The current policy traces its roots to the administration of former President Bill Clinton.

The legality and morality of extraordinary rendition have been a matter of intense debate for years. However, the Department of Justice’s arguments is that extraordinary rendition program is illegal. Consequently, the recent court action by the legal team of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu to take matter to African Rights Commission and suing Kenyan government at the Kenyan High Court over the extradition to Nigeria is a positive step in the right direction. Information available revealed that the Special Counsel to Kanu, Mr Aloy Ejimakor noted that the suit was filed on September 14 by Luchiri Associates, Kanu’s legal team in Kenya. As a matter of fact, since Nnamdi Kanu is a British and Nigerian citizen but entered Kenya with his British passport, he ought not to have been brought to Nigeria for any reason without valid court orders for his extradition hence his arrest in Kenya and subsequent extradition to Nigeria in June is unconstitutional, unequitable, illicit and verboten.

The petition further revealed that Nnamdi Kanu arrived Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in May from Kigali, Rwanda, on an East African tourist visa. It further said that Kanu went to the airport on June 19 to pick someone but never returned to his residence, Purple Haze Apartments on Kitale Lane. Rather was apprehended at the airport on June 19, 2021, and unlawfully detained for several days after which he was illegally and stealthily extradited to Nigeria without his British passport in utter-non-compliance with laid down processes of laws in Kenya. This is definitely an outlawed act violating the Extradition (Contiguous and Foreign Countries) Act Chapter 76 of the laws of Kenya. The court should therefore as pleaded by the petition declare his extradition “a violation of the fundamental rights and freedom to equal protection of the law, human dignity, freedom and security, freedom of movement, fair administrative action, access to justice, the right to be represented in court and a fair hearing as guaranteed in the Constitution of Kenya”.

The suing of the FG of Nigeria and the demand for five billion naira, and an apology for infringement of his fundamental human rights which was heard in a High Court in Abia state on Tuesday, 7, September. 2021 was equally a strong dimension to seek redress. The respondents in case include the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Attorney General of the Federation, Chief of Army Staff, Brigade Commander, 14 Brigade, Nigerian Army, Ohafia, Abia state, the Inspector General of Police, Commissioner of Police Abia state, Director General, State Security Services and the Abia state Director State Security Services.

Every global entity that has been reading and following the stories and sequence of events in this matter will agree with me that Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s fundamental human rights were grossly violated by those who masterminded his rendition to Nigeria, and from all indication, the Kenyan Government is culpable.
Furthermore, I am filled with imperishable pride that Ohanaeze President, Prof Obiozor appointed Dr Ezeife to lead delegates to the trial of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra. So happy I am too that the South-East caucus at the National Assembly has resolved to engage the federal government over Kanu’s detention. The NASS members who met at the residence of the former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, strongly condemned the continued injustice against Ndigbo and their exclusion from the power equation in Nigeria and vowed to wade in.

Ohanaeze President

“What we want is to make sure that the Federal Government understands the feeling of our people. It is not easy to predict right now, but what we want to see is to reduce tension in the South-East. It could be recalled that when Uwazuruike was detained by Obasanjo, there was tension until Yar’Adua came and eventually, we ended up in a political solution and Uwaruzuike was released.”

“There are plans by the South-east caucus in the National Assembly to help secure the release of detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu. To this end we resolved to set up a committee to constructively interface with relevant stakeholders, the federal government and its relevant agencies towards finding a political solution. We will keep Ndigbo abreast of developments in that regard” he concluded
In another development, I wish to add my voice to the danger signal being preached by the World Igbo Congress (WIC) which faulted the comments credited to President Buhari that the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) was stockpiling weapons in the country. To me, it seems a strategy to label IPOB as a terrorist group and use it as excuse for the murderous activities on Igbo people and other target areas. The World Igbo Congress observed right that the Fulani had used the same strategy to enslave the Hausa and take over their lands in Sokoto, Zamfara, Kebbi, Katsina, Kano, Jigawa, Bauchi and Gombe states. You could recall that Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has sometimes last month sued U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin over the sale of attack war planes which IPOB believes that the Nigerian government will use to attack its supporters. United States-based constitutional lawyer Bruce Fein filed the case in a federal court in Washington on behalf of IPOB and 10 unidentified individuals based in the secessionists’ heartland in southeastern Nigeria. Fein pleaded the court to direct Blinken and Austin to block the transfer of six A-29 Super Tucano aircraft to Nigeria’s air force and to seek the return of six that were recently delivered. He said IPOB “reasonably fear that the A-29 Super Tucano aircraft will be used imminently to kill or maim them physically or to destroy their property.”

Report has it that Nigeria and the United States agreed on the sale of the planes in 2017 under former President Donald Trump, after his predecessor, Barack Obama, suspended the deal over concerns about Nigerian security forces’ human rights records. As a matter of urgency, I wish to call on the leaders of the South East and other regions like South South and South West to wake up to the unfolding threat to their existence.

Be it as it may, I wish to extend kudos to the Board of Directors of World Igbo Congress (WIC) for authorizing an immediate legal support to Nnamdi Kanu’s legal team, while urging Igbo political elite to eschew political gratification and defend the right of Igbo citizens. In a statement by its Public Relations Officer, Basil Onwukwe, WIC decried the seeming leadership vacuum in Igboland where armed security agents could kill innocent Igbo youths without facing any consequences. The group called on the Federal Government to apply proper governing tools that will heal the country and refrain from activities that can aggravate the agitation for disintegration. According to WIC, the Federal Government of Nigeria has not shown any desire to improve the governance of the nation, but has doubled down to increase the state of uncertainty in the polity noting that Ndigbo are tired of a nation that has no desire for improvement.