The leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately release him and drop all charges against him.
Kanu is being held by the Department of State Services (DSS) at its headquarters in Abuja, after the separatist leader was extraordinarily renditioned by the Nigerian government from Kenya in June 2021, an action his lawyers termed as “illegal, unlawful, unconstitutional extradition”.
He is standing trial on charges bordering on treasonable felony and terrorism before the Federal High Court, Abuja.
Kanu in a letter signed by his lawyer, Mike Ozekhome asked President Buhari to release him through a more productive “political solution.”
According to the IPOB leader, his release will halt the “present restlessness and sits-at-home mantra currently ravaging the South East and paralysing business and normal life”.
UNCONDITIONALLY. Your Excellency, the directive issued by a powerful agency of the United Nations – its Working Group on Arbitrary Detention – for the immediate and unconditional release by your government of Nnamdi Kanu, and payment to him of damages is a sure sign that the world has finally woken up and taken due cognizance of your government’s flagrant violation of Kanu’s rights, which has been condemned globally; that is, his extraordinary rendition from Kenya to Nigeria about 16 months ago is a great travesty which ought not to stand at all. Your Excellency, that directive by the UN body (technically called an ‘opinion”) was issued on 20 July 2022 and was transmitted to your government and that of Kenya -two days later, on 22 July, 2022
“DETAILS OF THE REPORT OF THE UN WORKING GROUP. Your Excellency, to provide a composite picture of the said decision of the Working Group, it is important to refer to its report in some detail. Kindly therefore indulge me in this regard.”
Kanu added that he was a victim of state persecution as the government has failed to provide evidence linking him to treason and other allegations levelled against him.
Describing Kanu as a victim of state persecution, the report asserts that Kanu is a victim of state persecution, “as Nigeria failed to provide convincing explanations with proof that he was guilty of treason and other criminal allegations levelled against him”.
The Group’s report reads, “Noting the failure of the government to explain what actions of Kanu amounted to such criminal acts and how, and observing the lack of any evidence that any of his actions may in fact amount to such crimes, the Working Group concludes that Kanu is in fact being persecuted for the peaceful exercise of his rights, most notably his freedom of opinion and expression…
“In the present case, the government of Nigeria has presented no exceptions permitted under Article 19(3) of the Covenant nor is there any evidence to suggest that Kanu’s exercise of his right to freedom of opinion and expression was anything but peaceful… In fact, the government has chosen not to provide any explanation for the arrest, detention and subsequent proceedings against Kanu. In these circumstances, the Working Group concludes that Mr. Kanu’s detention is thus arbitrary.”
The Working Group said international laws were breached in arresting Kanu, adding that there was no evidence that “international laws were observed in the arrest and rendition of Kanu from Kenya”.