Kanu’s lawyer drags Nigeria, Kenya to African rights commission

SPECIAL counsel to the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) Aloy Ejimakor has dragged both Nigerian and Kenyan governments before the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights over his arrest and extradition.

Ejimakor, who revealed this in a statement on Tuesday, described Kanu’s extradition as reprehensible as it did not follow due process.

He said that his client’s arrest and eventual deportation to Nigeria were a violation of the African Charter, which Nigeria and Kenya were signatories to.

“A few days ago, I commenced a continental legal action against Nigeria and Kenya before the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights, demanding accountability for the extraordinary rendition of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu,” he said.

“Both countries also have extradition laws that prohibit this sort of reprehensible conduct that saw Kanu to Nigeria.

“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.”

While arguing that a victim of rendition was entitled to certain remedies mandated under the African Charter, Ejimakor demanded that his client be released from custody and be restored to how he was before his arrest.

“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 travelled to Kenya on his British passport and was duly admitted as such and as a free man.”

He added that no valid territorial jurisdiction could issue from an act of extraordinary rendition “because Kanu is, technically speaking, still in Kenya.”

He urged the commission to adopt other urgent measures as it saw fit to protect Kanu in the interim.

Ejimakor further said that any nation that dabbled into extraordinary rendition had unwittingly brought impediments to her territorial jurisdiction, stressing that Nigeria, “whether it admits it or not, has triggered a hornets’ nest that has, for the first time, brought the international legal order to bear on the matter of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.”

The Nigerian government, through the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami, claimed Kanu was extradited two days before he was brought before an Abuja Federal High Court on Tuesday, June 29.

Although the Nigerian authorities have refused to disclose how and where the IPOB leader was arrested, Kanu’s personal testimonies to his lawyers and his allies have fingered Kenyan security operatives in his arrest, an allegation Kenya has since refuted.

    Kanu faces an 11-count charge of treason, treasonable felony, terrorism, and illegal possession of firearms.

    Kanu jumped bail and fled Nigeria after soldiers raided his residence in Umuahia, Abia State, in 2017.

    On Monday, the Federal High Court adjourned his trial to October 21 following the failure of the prosecuting team to produce him in court,

    The court presided over by Binta Nyako ruled that Kanu’s trial would not continue in his absence, and ordered the State Security Service to produce him in court in the next adjournment date.

    You can reach out to me on Twitter via: vincent_ufuoma

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