U.S. Officially Acknowledges Unlawful Arrest of Nnamdi Kanu, Orders Nigerian Government to End Prosecution

In a recent statement, the legal team for Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), announced that the United States has officially recognized that Kanu was unlawfully arrested by the Nigerian government in 2021.

This recognition was detailed in the “2023 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Nigeria” published by the U.S. government.

Barrister Aloy Ejimakor, the lead counsel for Kanu, highlighted that this acknowledgment by a foreign power like the United States could be pivotal. It underscores the serious human rights violations Kanu faced through what the legal team insists was an “extraordinary rendition” rather than a lawful extradition. This development comes nearly three years after Kanu was taken from Kenya to Nigeria under contentious circumstances.

The statement from Kanu’s legal team expressed gratitude towards the U.S. government and particularly the U.S. Mission in Nigeria for their stance. According to Ejimakor, this U.S. acknowledgment not only supports their longstanding claims since June 2021 but should also press the Nigerian government to recognize its breach of international law and Kanu’s human rights.

Given the complexities introduced by how Kanu was detained and the ongoing delay in his trial—which began almost a decade ago in 2015—the legal team argues that the Nigerian government should conclude the prosecution of Kanu. They contend that the charges he faces are outdated, and a fair trial may be unachievable due to the controversial nature of his arrest and detention.

In calling for an end to Kanu’s trial, the legal team suggests that discontinuing the prosecution would be a just resolution that acknowledges the procedural and human rights errors made in his case.


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