The British High Commission and a law firm in London, Bindmans, have sought the consent of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, to take up his case.
The PUNCH gathered on Thursday that Kanu’s Nigerian lawyer, Aloy Ejimakor, delivered two forms to the IPOB leader on Wednesday during a visit to the office of the Department of State Services, where he is being detained.
Ejimakor told our correspondent that the development would open up a new chapter in the trial of Kanu, adding that the Nigerian government would be served with summons to bring him to the United Kingdom, where another case would be heard over the manner of his rendition to Nigeria.
He said, “I went to visit him on Wednesday and went with two forms. One was the consular consent form that the British High Commission required that he signs to consent to consular assistance. There was also a form from his counsel in the UK. The firm is known as Bindmans, one of the largest law firms in the UK.
“The forms will open a whole new chapter of legality, including the filing of a Writ of Mandamus, against the Nigerian government in a UK court to compel it to produce Kanu, because his detention is illegal under the British law. It was an extraordinary rendition, which is an international crime by which a state kidnaps a suspect or a fugitive without the due process of law.
“They will be filing all these processes in the UK and there is a prospect of a UK court assuming universal jurisdiction or extra-territorial jurisdiction and reaching into Kenya so that they can arrest every Kenyan official, either authorised or not, and every Nigerian official involved in this case.”
The lawyer noted that the DSS collected the forms, saying they must first go through the vetting of its legal unit.
He said despite being told that he would collect them on Thursday, he had yet to be contacted by the government agency.
Ejimakor said during his three-hour meeting, the IPOB leader gave a vivid account of how the Nigerian government hired agents, who abducted and flew him into the country.
While quoting Kanu, he said the IPOB leader was blindfolded and flown on a private jet without any extradition hearing or immigration process.
“He was blindfolded and driven to the tarmac very close to the plane without passing through the airport immigration.
“The plane departed Nairobi around 12pm and arrived in Abuja in the evening.
“Kanu was tortured and subjected to untold cruel and inhuman treatment in Kenya. He said his abductors disclosed to him that they abducted him at the behest of the Nigerian government.
“The people that abducted him said they were told by their sponsors that Kanu was a Nigerian terrorist linked to Islamic terrorists in Kenya, presumably Al-Shabab. But after several days when they discovered his true identity, they tended to treat him less badly.
“Despite that, they told him they felt committed to hand him over to those that hired them.
“According to Kanu, no warrant of arrest was shown to him or even mentioned to him. And for the eight days, he was held incommunicado, nothing of presenting him before a court or transferring him to an official detention facility was ever mentioned. He was held in a nondescript private facility and chained to a bare floor.
“Kanu was interviewed for the first time in my presence by three DSS officers. The interview was revealing as it contained certain new allegations that were never heard of before. But all the questions relate directly or indirectly to his status as the leader of IPOB.”
The counsel said despite his client’s ordeal, he was in high spirit.