INDIGENOUS People of Biafra (Ipob) leader Nnamdi Kanu has dragged the Kenyan government to court claiming that it violated his human rights by participating in his abduction and extradition to Nigeria in June this year.
Highly controversial, Mr Kanu has been campaigning for the recreation of the independent republic of Biafra which broke away from Nigeria between July 1967 and January 1970 during the civil war. His campaign, which has led to the phenomenal growth of Ipob, has set him at odds with the Nigerian government who him arrested and put on trial for treason.
While the case was still pending, Mr Kanu was granted bail in April 2017 on health grounds but skipped his bail after flouting the conditions given to him by the court and fled Nigeria. In November 2020, a federal high court in Abuja ruled that his trial could resume and five prosecution witnesses were called to testify against Mr Kanu.
In a dramatic development, however, in June this year, Mr Kanu was abducted in Kenya and deported to Nigeria in a highly efficient military operation. Speaking about his ordeal, Mr Kanu said he was arrested by mercenaries, who detained him for eight days in Kenya, subjecting him to torture before deporting him illegally to Nigeria.
Apparently, the Kenyan government was not aware of the operation as it appears that the Nigerian intelligence service recruited the operatives itself. Also, the facilities used were not official Kenyan police stations, no minister signed an deportation order and Mr Kanu was not presented before any Kenyan court of law.
Despite this, Mr Kanu has dragged the Kenyan government to court according to his lawyer Aloy Ejimakor, as Ipob has accused Kenya of playing a role in Mr Kanu’s arrest. Wilfred Machage, Kenya’s high commissioner to Nigeria has repeatedly refuted the claim that the Kenyan police arrested Mr Kanu.