IPOB: Kanu’s Lawyer Writes British High Commissioner Over Client’s Release
Mr Bruce Fein, Nnamdi Kanu’s international lawyer, Tuesday, called on Dr Richard Montgomery, British high commissioner to Nigeria, to take necessary measures to effect the release of the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra in line with the Opinion of the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, which ordered Kanu’s immediate freedom.
Kanu is being detained in the custody of the Department of State Services in Abuja over alleged treason, running a proscribed group and jumping bail in 2017. However, courts have ruled in his favour, including that he did not jump bail. The FG is yet to abide by those rulings.
Fein in a release made available to our correspondent by Barr Aloy Ejimakor, Kanu’s special counsel, urged Montgomery not to toe the line of his predecessor by using his good offices to ensure that Nigeria abide by various orders for the release of Mr Kanu.
Fein’s letter to the high commissioner, entitled “Re: Nnamdi Kanu-Biafra sovereignty”, reiterated that Kanu was exercising his human rights in seeking the freedom of his people in Nigeria’s super-structure.
According to him, “Nigeria has been challenged as a nation since independence from involuntary British colonial rule in 1960. The UK has sought to make partial amends for participating in the racist Scramble for Africa by returning looted Benin City artefacts stolen by marauding British soldiers.
“But the British stole something far more valuable than artworks in Nigeria. The United Kingdom stole the right to self-determination and government by the consent of the governed in herding Biafrans at gunpoint in 1914 under a single sovereign umbrella pursuant to a cynical divide-and-conquer colonial policy. The American Revolution of 1776 carved a universal right to self-determination by distinct peoples into marble.”
He recalled the Biafran War which claimed many lives of the Igbo, adding that it was a sign of the heterogeneous nature of Igbos, Hausa-Fulani and Yorubas. He said it was such incompatibility that necessitated Kanu’s quest for a sovereign nation where the rights of his people would be guaranteed.
The letter read, “Kanu is a United Kingdom citizen. He is the leader of IPOB. Its mission is to secure the right to self-determination for 70 million Biafrans, which the British filched more than a century ago, through peaceful avenues of redress.
“The Fulani-controlled, radical Muslim government of Nigeria attempted to assassinate Mr Kanu in his home in 2017 for his peaceful advocacy of self-determination. Nigerian courts have ordered the government of Nigeria to pay reparations to Mr Kanu for its attempted assassination.
“In June 2021, Nigeria conspired with Kenya to kidnap and torture Mr Kanu in Nairobi followed by his extraordinary rendition to Abuja. There, Mr Kanu has been detained indefinitely in solitary confinement without a trial by the Nigerian government on concocted charges of treason.”
He recalled that on July 20, 2022, the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention issued an Opinion finding Mr Kanu’s detention violated sixteen international human rights covenants, which prompted it to order his ‘immediate and unconditional release and payment of reparations’, noting that the government of Nigeria ‘remains in contempt of the Working Group’s order more than eight months after its issuance’.
Fein berated the immediate past British high commissioner to Nigeria for not doing enough for the release of Kanu, and advised the incumbent to protect Kanu, who is a UK citizen.
In his words, “Your predecessor idled in lieu of confronting the Government of Nigeria with its legal obligation to release a UK citizen without tarry. She relied on the lawless Fulani-controlled government and Biafran quislings in the Southeast to accept Orwellian propaganda about Nnamdi Kanu and Biafra.”
Fein demanded to meet the high commissioner ‘to explore avenues to secure Nigeria’s compliance with the Working Group’s order for the immediate and unconditional release of Mr Kanu’, citing ‘the impending change in the Nigerian government and Kanu’s rapidly declining health’.