UK Appeal Court To Determine If Foreign Secretary Owes British Citizen, Nnamdi Kanu Decisive Position On ‘Extraordinary Rendition’ | #NwokeukwuMascot


Mazi Nnamdi Kanu

The Court of Appeal in the United Kingdom will Thursday hear an appeal brought on behalf of Nnamdi Kanu, in relation to the Foreign Secretary's ongoing refusal to reach a decisive view on whether he has been subject to extraordinary rendition.

The Court will hear Mr Kanu's family's appeal.

“The case will set an important precedent on whether the British government has the right to avoid making a decision on whether a British citizen is subject to fundamental breaches of international law, in spite of overwhelming evidence of violations of their rights,” a statement issued by Bindmans LLP on Thursday said.

Mr Kanu’s family are represented by John Halford and Shirin Marker of Bindmans LLP, together with barristers Charlotte Kilroy KC, Tatyana Eatwell, and Isabel Buchanan.

Kanu, who is the leader of the self determination group Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) was on June 19, 2021, abducted from the airport in Nairobi, Kenya, and then detained and tortured for about 10 days in Kenya.

Kanu was subsequently flown by private plane from Kenya to Nigeria later in June 2021.

Occasion of his arrest and extraordinary rendition of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu

Since Kanu was brought to Nigeria to face trial for terrorism charges, he has been detained in solitary confinement at the headquarters of the Department of State Services, Nigeria’s secret police, in the capital city, Abuja.

Mr Kanu, a British citizen, has requested consular assistance from the British government, but in the past 16 months, British High Commission officials have been permitted to visit him on only four occasions, the statement said.  

According to the statement, Kanu’s appeal challenges the High Court judgment of Mr Justice Swift of March 23, 2023, that “effectively permits the Foreign Secretary to procrastinate indefinitely and make no decision on the circumstances surrounding the torture, detention and extraordinary rendition of Mr Kanu”.

“Mr Kanu's legal team will argue it is irrational to evade a decision and, once one is made, the decision on appropriate action can be made on a proper basis,” it said.

It quoted Mr Kanu's brother, Kingsley, as saying on Thursday: "I'm very pleased that the court has agreed to this appeal. My brother has been in detention for nearly two years, his health, as well as his life, is at risk.

“I hope that the court sees the need for decisive action on this important issue and my brother's circumstance, and that I can soon see the safe return of my brother to his family."

In the High Court judgment, Mr Justice Swift noted the serious wrongs committed against Mr Kanu, including that in 2017, the Nigerian state had attempted to kill him.

Swift also noted that the Nigerian authorities captured him in 2021 whilst he was in Kenya and subjected him to inhuman and degrading treatment, and crucially, that he was subject to 'rendition'.

The court also highlighted extracts from the Opinion of the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention and the Nigerian courts, which unanimously found that Mr Kanu was subject to extraordinary rendition and called for his release on the basis that his ongoing detention is arbitrary.

However, despite clearly recognising the gravity of the wrongs committed against Mr Kanu, the court disappointingly held that Mr Kanu has no legitimate expectation that the British government should reach a firm view for itself on what had occurred or its seriousness.

The court also held that it was rational for the Foreign Secretary to maintain a 'provisional view' on whether Mr Kanu has been subject to extraordinary rendition, despite the overwhelming evidence.

“This is particularly surprising given that Mr Justice Swift reached the view that Mr Kanu had been 'rendered' on the basis of the evidence before him,” the statement said.


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