Release ‘Mama Biafra’ From Detention, She’s Mother To Me – Nnamdi Kanu Tells Buhari Government
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The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has commended the United Nations Commission on Human Rights (UNHCR) for condemning the arrest of the leader of the separatist group, Nnamdi Kanu, through its International Working Group. 
The group also commended Kanu’s international lawyer, Bruce Fein for his efforts in drawing the attention of the body to the plight of the IPOB leader. 





An international Working Group had declared the arrest of Kanu as unlawful and an infringement on his international human rights.
It also called for the immediate release of the IPOB and compensation by the Nigerian and Kenyan governments for the way he was treated. 
The Working Group on arbitrary detention, under the United Nations Commission on Human Rights (UNCHR), disclosed this in a statement published on its website.
The group comprises scholars and experts who specialise in human rights issues and related laws.
Fein, the American lawyer of the IPOB leader had petitioned the group over an alleged gross violation of his client’s rights.
The UN group in its report also described Kanu’s repatriation from Kenya in June 2021 as “illegal, unlawful, unconstitutional extradition.”
In a statement on Sunday, IPOB commended the Working Group, Fein and everyone working to get victory for the detained IPOB leader. 
The IPOB leader was detained after he was arrested in Kenya and repatriated in June 2021.
He was arrested over his agitation for Biafra and by extension, Nigeria’s breakup.
He has since been detained by Nigeria’s secret police, Department of State Services (DSS) and his trial for terrorism-related offences commenced in a Federal High Court in Abuja, the country’s capital. 
IPOB, in the statement from its publicity secretary, Emma Powerful on Sunday, said, “We, the global and noble family of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) under the supreme leadership of Onyendu Mazi Nnamdi Kanu hereby commend Attorney Bruce Fein for the professional job in regards to the recently issued United Nations Opinion, condemning the extraordinary rendition of our Leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and directing the Government of Nigeria to release him unconditionally and to compensate him.
“In the same vein, we commend all those who quietly labored and assisted in achieving this landmark victory. It is indeed a great milestone for our Leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, the IPOB and Biafrans worldwide.
“We also express our profound gratitude to the United Nations and its Working Group for their courage in reaching this decision and issuing an opinion that comports with the tenets of international laws.
“It is our hope that Nigeria, as a member of the United Nations, will take heed and promptly obey and implement the UN directives to the letter. We caution that this is not a Nigerian court order that is often disobeyed without consequences.” 
The statement by the working group said, “The Working Group is mindful that article 9 (2) of the Covenant requires that anyone who is arrested is not only informed of the reasons for the arrest but also promptly informed of any charges against them. 
“As explained by the Human Rights Committee in its general comment No. 35, the obligation encapsulated in article 9 (2) has two elements: information about the reasons for the arrest must be provided immediately upon arrest and there must be prompt information about the charges provided thereafter. Failure to do so violates article 9 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, article 9 of the Covenant, and principle 10 of the Body of Principles, and renders the person’s arrest devoid of any legal basis.
“Consequently, Mr. Kanu’s arrest without an arrest warrant and with no explanation as to the reasons for his arrest violated his rights under article 9 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, article 9 of the Covenant and principles 2, 4, 10, and 36 (2) of the Body of Principles,” it said.
The UN group in its report also described Kanu’s repatriation from Kenya in June 2021 as “illegal, unlawful, unconstitutional extradition.”
It read, “On 30 December 2021, the Working Group transmitted the allegations from the source to the Governments of Nigeria and Kenya under its regular communications procedure. The Working Group requested the Governments to provide, by 28 February 2022, detailed information about the current situation of Mr. Kanu and to clarify the legal provisions justifying his continued detention, as well as its compatibility with the obligations of Nigeria and Kenya under international human rights law, and in particular with regard to the treaties ratified by the two States. Moreover, the Working Group called upon the Government of Nigeria to ensure Mr. Kanu’s physical and mental integrity.
“On 25 January 2022, the Government of Nigeria submitted a reply in which it stated that, given that the case is on-going in national courts, “any reaction by the Federal Government of Nigeria will be unconscionable.”
“The Working Group regrets that it received no reply from the Government of Kenya and that it also did not seek an extension in accordance with paragraph 16 of Working Group’s methods of work.
“The Working Group has maintained from its early years that the practice of arresting persons without a warrant renders their detention arbitrary. This lacks any valid legal basis under any circumstance.
“Judicial oversight of any detention is a central safeguard for personal liberty and is critical in ensuring that detention has a legitimate basis. In the circumstances attending the detention of Mr. Kanu at an unknown location, the Working Group finds that his right to an effective remedy under article 8 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and article 2 (3) of the Covenant were violated. 
“He was also placed outside the protection of the law, in violation of his right to be recognised as a person before the law under article 6 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and article 16 of the Covenant.
“The Working Group also considers that Mr. Kanu’s time in detention following his arrest constitutes pre-trial detention, which violated the prescriptions of article 9 (3) of the Covenant in so far as Mr. Kanu was not presented before a judicial authority within 48 hours and no individual assessment of the appropriateness of his pre-trial detention took place.
“The source asserts and the Government does not contest that on or about 29 June 2021, Mr. Kanu was subjected to extraordinary rendition to Abuja, Nigeria, with no prior judicial hearing before a judicial or administrative body. The source emphasizes that Mr. Kanu was not given access to counsel and was denied any judicial proceedings all together whilst in Kenya. The source notes that, according to Nigeria’s Attorney General, Mr. Kanu was apprehended and transported to Abuja with the cooperation of Nigerian intelligence officials and Interpol.
“The source claims that, in the present case, there was no fair and public hearing concerning Mr. Kanu’s removal from Kenya to Nigeria. The source stresses that involuntary expulsion to a foreign State without a hearing by judicial authorities does not conform with due process considerations. 
“It is clear from the facts as narrated by the source and not contested by the Government that Mr. Kanu was never presented to a court before leaving Nairobi. Instead, he was unwillingly taken, outside any legal process and without any legal protection. He was forcibly conveyed from Nairobi to Abuja under an arrangement between the Kenyan and Nigerian Governments, and with the cooperation of the Nigerian Intelligence officials and Interpol, as confirmed by Nigeria’s Attorney General.

“As the Working Group has previously observed 9 international law regarding extradition provides procedures that must be observed by countries in arresting, detaining and returning individuals to face criminal proceedings in another country and in ensuring that their right to a fair trial is protected. This is also an explicating obligation arising from article 13 of the Covenant which requires that the person who is to be expelled “be allowed to submit the reasons against his expulsion and to have his case reviewed by, and be represented for the purpose before, the competent authority or a person or persons especially designated by the competent authority”.
The Working Group finds that all these requirements were ignored in the present case and the removal of Mr. Kanu from Kenya amounted to extraordinary rendition.
“Further, the Working Group notes that this was preceded by the secret detention of Mr. Kanu. As the Working Group and other experts have stated regarding State responsibility in the joint study on global practices in relation to secret detention in the context of countering terrorism: Secret detention, involving the denial or concealment of a person’s detention, whereabouts or fate has the inherent consequence of placing the person outside the protection of the law. 
“The practice of “proxy detention”, where persons are transferred from one State to another outside the realm of any international or national legal procedure (“rendition” or “extraordinary rendition”) for the specific purpose of secretly detaining them, or to exclude the possibility of review by the domestic courts of the State having custody of the detainee, or otherwise in violation of the well-entrenched principle of non-refoulement, entails exactly the same consequence. 
“The practice of “proxy detention” involves the responsibility of both the State that is detaining the victim and the State on whose behalf or at whose behest the detention takes place.
“It is aimed at avoiding all procedural safeguards, is not compatible with international law. The Working Group has previously found a violation of article 9 of the Covenant and the detention to be arbitrary where individuals were transferred to another country outside the confines of any legal procedure, such as extradition, were not allowed access to counsel. This is precisely what happened to Mr. Kanu.
“Secret detention, involving the denial or concealment of a person’s detention, whereabouts or fate has the inherent consequence of placing the person outside the protection of the law. The practice of “proxy detention”, where persons are transferred from one State to another outside the realm of any international or national legal procedure (“rendition” or “extraordinary rendition”) for the specific purpose of secretly detaining them, or to exclude the possibility of review by the domestic courts of the State having custody of the detainee, or otherwise in violation of the well-entrenched principle of non-refoulement, entails exactly the same consequence. 
“The practice of “proxy detention” involves the responsibility of both the State that is detaining the victim and the State on whose behalf or at whose behest the detention takes place.
“In the light of the foregoing, the Working Group renders the following opinion: In relation to Kenya and Nigeria; The deprivation of liberty of Nwannekaenyi Nnamdi Kenny Okwu-Kanu, being in contravention of articles 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and articles 2, 9, 13, 14, 16, 19 and 26 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, is arbitrary and falls within Categories I, II, III and V.
“The Working Group requests the Governments of Kenya and Nigeria to take the steps necessary to remedy the situation of Mr. Kanu without delay and bring it into conformity with the relevant international norms, including those set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
“The Working Group considers that, taking into account all the circumstances of the case, the appropriate remedy would be for the Government of Nigeria to release Mr. Kanu immediately and for both Governments to accord him an enforceable right to compensation and other reparations, in accordance with international law. In the current context of the global coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic and the threat that it poses in places of detention, the Working Group calls upon the Government of Nigeria to take urgent action to ensure the immediate unconditional release of Mr. Kanu.
“The Working Group urges the two Governments to ensure a full and independent investigation of the circumstances surrounding the arbitrary deprivation of liberty of Mr. Kanu and to take appropriate measures against those responsible for the violation of his rights.”

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