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‘Why IPOB leader’s interception, forcible deportation is extra-legal’


(FILES) In this file photo taken on May 28, 2017 Supporters of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) wave the Biafra flag in the Osusu district of Aba. – In a region where separatist sentiments often flare up among the indigenous Igbo, officials are pointing at the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra or IPOB that agitates for a separate state.But the situation is far from clear.IPOB says it is falsely accused in a bid to divide the separatists who are already split over strategy. Some southern leaders accuse rivals of sponsoring attacks to discredit them. (Photo by STEFAN HEUNIS / AFP)

Mr. Aloy Ejimakor, who is a solicitor to Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, has said that the interception and forcible deportation of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) was unlawful and extra-legal.

According to him, it does not agree with pertinent international laws and treaties, which Nigeria subscribed to. In a letter to the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catrina Laing CB, Ejimakor urged the British authorities to urgently demand Kanu’s unconditional release from detention.

Titled, “Re: Urgent Request For Consular Assistance To Okwu-Kanu, Nwannekaenyi Nnamdi Kenny (A British Citizen) and dated June 30, 2021, Ejimakor said a few legal, political and diplomatic issues have been violated in the matter.


He said: “Kanu is the leader of IPOB and director of Radio Biafra, both of which are corporate citizens of Britain, and he resides in United Kingdom, from which soil he departed on an overseas travel on or about June 19, 2021 on a British Passport No: 556543086.

“Mr. Kanu is a British citizen, who was traveling on a valid British passport, when he was seized in a third country and forcibly brought to Nigeria. Such act constitutes an unlawful rendition of a bonafide British citizen.

“He was not traveling on Nigerian passport or the passport of any other country, including that of Kenya. There is no extant order of extradition by any British Court or any other foreign Court (including Kenya) and we are informed that there is no pending extradition proceedings standing against him in Britain or Kenya.


The lawyer argued that had there been a deportation order, the country of his deportation should have been Britain on which passport he was travelling, adding that deporting him to Nigeria just because he was born in Nigeria, was unlawful under international law.

He stressed that the enterprise upon which Kanu is engaged, which is seeking the restoration of the defunct State of Biafra through a referendum, is a protected political opinion known as self-determination under British and Nigerian laws.

Ejimakor stated that Kanu was intercepted in Kenya by Nigeria’s foreign security agents and brought to Nigeria against his will and ‘arraigned’ before the Federal High Court, Abuja without a counsel.

He urged the High Commissioner to grant him consular assistance to which he is entitled as a British citizen, including being categorised as a high profile political prisoner or a prisoner of conscience.

He urged British authorities to file a diplomatic note or other legal process at the Federal High Court and the office of the Attorney General of Nigeria, indicating her sovereign interest in Kanu’s matter and declaring that he is not a criminal.


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