Aloy Ejimakor, Counsel to detained leader of Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu, , yesterday, said the federal government cannot prosecute the leader of IPOB until it convinces the Nigerian courts and Britain that he was legally extradited to Nigeria.
He said both Nigerian law and international charters to which Nigeria is a signatory, forbids kidnapping of persons by the government. He said in the case of Nnamdi Kanu, the Nigerian government has not disputed Nnamdi Kanu’s claim that he was abducted in Kenya, tortured and brought to Nigeria in chains.
Part of Ejimakor’s statement read: “Following the sudden appearance of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu in a Federal High Court in Abuja on 29th June, 2021, the Attorney-General of Nigeria (Abubakar Malami, SAN), at a press conference on the same date, stated that Kanu was “intercepted through the collaborative efforts of Nigerian intelligence and security services”. He added that “recent steps taken by the Federal Government saw to the interception of the fugitive Kanu on Sunday the 27th day of June 2021.
“Beyond this bland use of the word ‘interception’, neither the Attorney-General, nor any other Nigerian official has explained how and where this infamous interception occurred or whether it occurred under the pertinent legal framework or not. From published accounts, all efforts by the media (domestic and international) to elicit details of this interception have met a stubborn official silence. And it appears that the same is true with myriad diplomatic inquiries issued to Nigeria from the international community, notably from the United Kingdom and United Nations.
“Conversely, Nnamdi Kanu had, in various sworn statements, given credible accounts and details that prove that the so-called interception is simply that he was officially kidnapped, disappeared, tortured in Kenya, and extraordinarily renditioned to Nigeria.
“During the hearing of Kanu’s fundamental rights suit in Abia State (which he won), the Nigerian government could not explain how Kanu ended up in Nigeria, thus confirming that Kanu was not extradited but illegally renditioned. If Kanu was extradited, the Nigerian government would have been very forthright with it, especially given the insurmountable prosecutorial barrier that comes with extraordinary rendition.”
The statement further read: “It is therefore instructive that, to date, the Nigerian government has neither – in court or public – contradicted Kanu’s accounts, nor offered any alternative account that may suggest that Kanu’s return to Nigeria was secured through some due process of law. On its part, the Kenyan Government has, in the public and in processes filed in court, vehemently denied that Kanu was subjected to any extradition (or even deportation) proceedings in Kenya; and Nigeria has deadpanned to Kenya’s self-righteous denials.
“In view of the foregoing, there are several questions and answers well-meaning Nigerians and the international community must demand from Nigeria. These questions and answers are very crucial, because under the domestic and international legal order, Nigeria cannot properly levy its sovereign rights of criminal prosecution against Kanu without first proving that the act of transferring Kanu from Kenya to Nigeria conformed to the basic tenets of the law – municipal and international, including particularly treaties to which Nigeria is subject.
“A lot of people might not be aware but there’s a Nigerian law, enacted by the National Assembly in 1983, known as the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act. You can see this Law at CAP A9, Laws of Federation of Nigeria, 2004. Article 12(4) of this Law provides that “A non-national legally admitted in a territory of a State Party to the present Charter, may only be expelled from it by virtue of a decision taken in accordance with the law.
“To be sure, Nnamdi Kanu, a non-national of Kenya, was legally admitted to Kenya on 5th May, 2021 and then expelled or was transferred from Kenya to Nigeria on 27th June, 2021 without ‘a decision taken in accordance with the law’. Both Nigeria and Kenya are state parties to the parent African Charter that grandfathered the similar law Nigeria later domesticated into its municipal laws.
“In view of the foregoing, it is trite that a renditioned fugitive suspect cannot be subjected to trial. Thus, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu should be restitutioned or restored to the status quo, whether to Kenya or Britain, at his option. It is inherently contradictory to postulate that a renditioned suspect will get a fair trial from the jurisdiction that renditioned him,” Ejimakor said.
Kanu’s family demands clarification over his rendition
Similarly, the family of the detained IPOB leader yesterday demanded clarifications on how he was renditioned from Kenya to Nigeria.
Kanu’s family said that the federal government had failed to produce clarifications on how their son was renditioned to Nigeria.
The family which kicked against long court adjournments of his trial, threatened that if the Court failed to adhere to constitutional Law, they would be compelled to “invoke the Prima Facie evidence against the federal government.”
This was contained in a press release signed by Mazi Kanunta Kanu, younger brother to Nnamdi Kanu and made available to Vanguard.
The embittered family lamented that “President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration has bluntly failed to proffer clarifications on the processes deployed in renditioning the freedom fighter.
“We want to know the exact location from where our brother was intercepted”, the family demanded.
Kanu’s family insisted that “the action of the federal government amounts to illegality and you cannot put illegality on illegality and expect it to stand.”
The release read in part:“The question we are still asking the federal government of Nigeria is: Why is it that clarification has not been given on how Mazi Nnamdi Kanu was renditioned to Nigeria?
“We want to know, like the federal government said, where was he intercepted from and how come no clarification has been given up until this date?”
The family described Kanu’s trial as “a travesty of justice”, saying “What has taken place over his rendition is illegal. You cannot put illegality on illegality.”
The family expressed shock that Kanu’s co-defendants were still standing trial for the same charges already withdrawn by the federal government.
“Mazi Nnamdi Kanu was arrested in 2015 on seven-count charge. Those charges have been expunged and his co-defendants are still answering those previous charges.
“So, what happened to those previous charges in which he was detained for?
“Now, the federal government in their usual style amended Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s charges; they came back with fifteen amended charges against him.
“Up until this moment, there is no single evidence before the Court. Why are they so desperate to crucify Nnamdi Kanu even when there is no evidence before the Court?
“We may have to invoke the prima facie evidence before trial. However, we are worried with long adjournments taking place in Binta Nyako’s Court over Nnamdi Kanu case. This delay tactics must stop”.
I’ll not tolerate smear campaign against IPOB—Kanu
Meantime, Nnamdi Kanu, yesterday, said he would no longer tolerate a smear campaign against IPOB and the legal team.
The IPOB lead Counsel, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, disclosed this in a statement to newsmen in Owerri after they had visited Kanu at the detention facility of the Department of State Services, DSS, in Abuja, last Monday.
Kanu said those behind the smear campaign should be seen as traitors.
Ejiofor while quoting Kanu said: “Consistent with the subsisting order of the court, we, paid our routine visit on Onyendu Mazi Nnamdi Kanu. We availed ourselves of the opportunity afforded by the visit to brief Onyendu on several issues.
“Firstly, we acquainted him with the level of preparedness for the preliminary skirmishes that will take place in court in the criminal charge preferred against him. As you all know, proceedings in the criminal charge will resume on the 16th instant.
“Secondly, we briefed him on the smear campaign orchestrated against my good self by traitors and desperate enemies of the struggle, aimed at causing disharmony within the fold and needlessly generating ill feelings.
“Onyendu was thoroughly ashamed by the utter infantile mendacity inherent in the smear campaign and the unimpressive, unintelligent, wobbling, and poorly thought out strategy that informed the whole endeavour. He advised that I should quickly ignore and consign the half-hearted attempt of such a despicable lot to the garbage bin and resist every attempt by them to distract me. He was not at all rattled or perturbed by the news of the smear campaign but rather re-emphasised the unshaken trust and confidence he has always reposed in me.”