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UK Court to Hear Nnamdi Kanu’s Appeal Seeking British Govt to Acknowledge His Extraordinary Rendition

A Court of Appeal in the United Kingdom has granted permission to the family of Nnamdi Kanu, the detained leader of the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), to challenge a judgement which okayed the British government’s silence on his extraordinary rendition to Nigeria.

Aloy Ejimakor, Mr Kanu’s special counsel, disclosed this in a statement, Wednesday.

The court had, on 23 March, dismissed a suit filed by Mr Kanu’s family seeking a judicial review of the UK government’s failure to reach “a firm view” in the IPOB leader’s extraordinary rendition to Nigeria.

In the suit, Mr Kanu, a British-Nigerian citizen, wanted the court to compel the UK government to acknowledge and condemn his extraordinary rendition to Nigeria.

The court, presided by Justice Swift, had ruled that the British authorities could lawfully evade reaching any conclusion on whether Mr Kanu was subjected to torture, detention and extraordinary rendition.

Mr Kanu’s family, through their legal representatives, Bindmans LLP, consequently applied for leave to challenge the court ruling.

Mr Ejimakor said Justice Lewis, a senior judge of the UK court, on 8 May, granted the family the permission to appeal the court ruling.

“The grounds of appeal raise important issues concerning the scope of the obligations on the respondent in relation to requests for consular assistance in respect of British nationals detained abroad and the proper interpretation and application of the decision of the Court of Appeal in R (Abassi) v Secretary of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office [2003] UKHRR 76,” Mr Lewis, the judge, was quoted as saying.

“For those reasons, there is a compelling reason for the appeal to be heard, within the meaning of CPR 52.6(1)(b). Permission is granted on all three grounds,” he declared.

The IPOB leader’s lawyer added that the court also ordered the hearing of the appeal to be expedited because of the continued “solitary confinement” of Mr Kanu in Nigeria.

The appeal was fixed to be heard, if reasonably possible, before 14 July or as soon as reasonably possible thereafter, according to a court document posted by Mr Ejimakor on his Twitter handle.

“Accordingly, the hearing has been listed for Thursday 22nd June 2023,” he stated.

A younger brother to the IPOB leader, Kingsley Kanu, said their family was delighted that the court has “unhesitatingly recognised the importance and urgency” of the Kanu’s case, Mr Ejimakor said.


Mr Kanu was first arrested in 2015, but was granted bail in April 2017. He fled the country after an invasion of his home in Afara-Ukwu, near Umuahia, Abia State, by the Nigerian military in September of that year.

He was re-arrested in Kenya and brought back to Nigeria in June 2021, about four years after he fled the country.

The Court of Appeal, Abuja, on 13 October, held that the IPOB leader was extra-ordinarily renditioned to Nigeria and that the action was a flagrant violation of the country’s extradition treaty and also a breach of his fundamental human rights.

The court, therefore, struck out the terrorism charges filed against Mr Kanu by the Nigerian government and ordered his release from the custody of the State Security Service (SSS).

But the government refused to release the IPOB leader insisting that he (Kanu) could be unavailable in subsequent court proceedings if released and that his release would cause insecurity in the South-east.

The government, through the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation, later appealed the court ruling and subsequently obtained an order staying execution of the court judgement at the Supreme Court.

Mr Kanu is challenging the stay of execution order stopping his release from the SSS custody.

The IPOB leader asked the apex court to set aside the stay of execution order on the grounds that the Appeal Court judges erred in law when they halted the execution of their own order which freed him.

Source : Premium Times