Dominic Raab, Foreign Secretary, UK
Thursday, 1st July 2021: The hopes of Kingsley Kanu, brother of detained leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, that Britain will secure the release of his sibling may have been dashed with a British document indicating that the United Kingdom can’t get nationals out of prisons abroad.
Kanu, who was born on September 25, 1967, is a holder of Nigerian and British passports. Upon his arrest on Sunday and extradition from a foreign country, he was arraigned before Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court in Abuja on Tuesday for terrorism-related charges and has since been remanded in the custody of the Department of State Services.
Kanu’s brother, Kingsley, who said his sibling was intercepted in East African country Kenya, had since called on the UK government to secure his release.
“The British High Commission in Nigeria must insist upon my brother’s immediate release. They must guarantee his safety and security.
“Nnamdi Kanu must be returned home to the UK to his wife and his sons who live here. The Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, must make clear to the Nigerian authorities that they will not tolerate the unlawful detention of British citizens and that the UK Government condemns the Nigerians and Kenyans for undermining the rule of law.
“Foreign Secretary, Raab must be clear. There will be consequences for those who resort to extraordinary rendition. The British Government must insist upon justice for Nnamdi Kanu,” Kingsley had said.
The Head of Communications, British High Commission in Abuja, Dean Hurlock, told CEOAFRICA that the British Government is ready to provide “consular assistance” for the IPOB leader and “currently in the process of seeking clarification from the Nigerian government about the circumstances of the arrest”.
When pressed further on what he meant by “consular assistance”, the British official referred us to the UK manual on ‘Support for British nationals abroad: A guide’.
The document read in part, “We can offer you information about the local prison or remand system, including visiting arrangements, mail and censorship, privileges, work possibilities, and social and welfare services. We can also explain where there are different regulations for remand prisoners and sentenced prisoners. For example, in some countries, prisoners are allowed to send more mail when they are on remand.
The Buhari regime had in September 2017 outlawed IPOB and declared that the activities of the group constituted an act of terrorism and illegality.
Before then, Kanu was arrested and jailed but released from the Kuje Prison in Abuja after meeting bail conditions.
The IPOB leader later jumped bail and fled the country and operated from overseas before he was reportedly captured on Sunday.
Kanu had also formed the Eastern Security Network which the police have accused of being the masterminds of attacks on police stations, prisons and symbols of democracy in the zone but Kanu had denied the allegations.
Before he jumped bail in 2017, Kanu was facing 11 charges including terrorism, treasonable felony, managing an unlawful society, publication of defamatory matter, illegal possession of firearms and improper importation of goods.
The case has been scheduled for July 26 and July 27 2021 for resumption of trial while Kanu has been remanded with the Department of State Services.