Mr. Nnamdi Kanu, the IPOB leader who was detained earlier has called on the intervention of the British Government in his case by asking President Muhammadu Buhari to release him from prison. He insisted that the President Buhari-led administration has violently abused his fundamental human rights through his prolonged detention in prison custody.
Even though Kanu said he was ready to answer to the charge against him, he however expressed doubt in the ability of the Nigerian government to accord him fair trial, saying he has so far been subjected to immense persecution.
Kanu who is facing treason charge alongside two other pro-Biafra agitators, Benjamin Madubugwu and David Nwawuisi, approached the British government through his lawyer, Mr. Ifeanyi Ejiofor. Kanu, in a letter dated March 24 and addressed to the British High Commissioner in Abuja, described himself as a victim of travesty of justice and gross human rights violation.
“It is the position of our Law, that dual citizenship is a constitutional right of the citizens of Nigeria, clearly provided for under section 28 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended in 2011. Dual citizenship is not a crime under our Law.
Stressing that he is a British citizen, Kanu told the UK government that he was wrongly arrested and put in detention.
“We are therefore constrained in the circumstance, to formally notify the British Government via this medium, of our well informed reservations, and apprehension, that our client is undergoing persecution in the charge above referred, and deliberate design by the persecutors to frustrate every effort of the Defense team aimed at giving our client a fair trial”. Kanu, through his lawyer, contended that his detention from October 14, 2015 till January 20, 2016, without any lawful order of court, was not only unlawful, but was in flagrant disobedience of orders of courts of competent jurisdiction which he said directed his unconditional release and discharge.
“It is repeating the obvious to state that our client is a full British citizen, by virtue of which position he is entitled to all Rights, Privileges and Protection, guaranteed under the British Laws and conventions.
Reservations on President’s comment
“Our reservations on the President’s comment was underpinned by the findings made in the ruling delivered on February 29, 2016, by Hon. Justice John Tsoho, wherein our client and the two other defendants were denied bail. “Recalled that on December 29, 2015, during the Presidential Media Chat, the President told the whole world that Nnamdi Kanu cannot be granted bail, alleging that he came into the country without a valid travelling passport. “This pronouncement was roundly condemned by both local and international commentators. His pronouncement was viewed as a clear usurpation of the functions and powers of the judiciary. “Though very regrettable and extremely unfortunate, Nnamdi Kanu was refused bail on January 29, 2016. In refusing him and other defendants bail, the court also cited the facts of his possession of dual passports as a flight risk, and as such held that he cannot be granted bail.” Kanu maintained that Justice Tsoho denied him bail “in line with the pronouncement of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in his media chat telecasted live on December 29, 2015.”
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