CONTRARY to claims by the Kenyan government that leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) Nnamdi Kanu was not arrested in Kenya, the Biafra activist’s lawyer has said Kanu was apprehended in the East African country.
Kenyan High Commissioner to Nigeria Wilfred Machage had, at a press conference on Friday in Abuja, denied the involvement of his country in the re-arrest of the secessionist leader.
However, Kanu’s lawyer Ifeanyi Ejiofor, in an update he released on Twitter on Friday, said his client was apprehended, tortured and handed over to Nigerian security agents by operatives of Kenya’s Special Police Force.
According to Ejiofor, Kanu was arrested at Kenya’s international airport on June 18 and taken to an undisclosed location where he was detained for eight days before he was handed over to Nigeria’s State Security Service (SSS).
“He was tortured and subjected to all forms of inhuman treatment which worsened his health condition. He was illegally detained for eight good days in Kenya before being transferred to their Nigerian counterpart.
“He was purportedly investigated on a bogus charge while in their custody, ostensibly awaiting to be handed over after their findings proved him innocent of all the spurious allegations. They later beckoned on their Nigerian counterpart to take over.
“Kenyan government was deeply involved in the abduction, detention and ill-treatment of my client before the illegal handover to their Nigerian counterpart,” Ejiofor tweeted.
Ejiofor further claimed that Kanu requires prompt and proper medical check-up due to the alleged dehumanisation he suffered at the hands of Kenyan security operatives.
“A scan of his heart showed that the heart has enlarged by 13 per cent due to the dehumanizing treatment meted to him. There will be need for immediate proper medical examination and attention for him,” he added.
The lawyer assured that Kanu’s legal team would challenge his arrest at a ‘proper forum.’
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.
Kanu faces an 11-count charge of treason, treasonable felony, terrorism, and illegal possession of firearms.
The court remanded him in the custody of the SSS and adjourned the case till July 26 and 27.
Kanu jumped bail and fled Nigeria after soldiers raided his residence in Umuahia, Abia State, in 2017.
On Thursday, Minister of Information Lai Mohammed said that the Nigerian government had been on Kanu’s trail for two years.
He accused the IPOB leader of living a luxurious life.
The Nigerian government believes Kanu is liable for recent attacks and killings allegedly orchestrated by IPOB and its security arm, the Eastern Security Network (ESN) in the South-East.
The government also said on Thursday that its preliminary findings showed prominent Nigerians collaborated with Kanu. It vowed to apprehend and bring them to book, no matter how highly placed.
Kanu’s arrest has raised concerns among many Nigerians, especially people of South-East extraction – a region he’s pushing its secession from the country.