By Dennis Agbo
Special Counsel to the leader of Indigenous People of Biafra IPOB, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, Mr Aloy Ejimakor has disclosed that the extraordinary rendition of his client is now a matter before the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights.
Ejimakor said that the defendants in the petition are both Nigerian and Kenya governments, whom Kanu is asking to account for his abduction from Kenya.
He disclosed that among prayers in the petition include that Kanu is restored back to his state of being, which was Kenya, before his abduction that he described as reprehensible.
Ejimakor noted that both Nigeria and Kenya are answerable to the Africa Rights commission because they are both parties to the Africa Charter and domesticated the Charter in their countries, thus making it part of their municipal laws.
“Both countries also have extradition laws that prohibit this sort of reprehensible conduct that saw Kanu to Nigeria,” Ejimakor said.
He stated that extraordinary rendition is expressly prohibited under the African Charter, where it provides in pertinent part that “A State may not transfer (e.g. deport, expel, remove, extradite) an individual to the custody of another State unless it is prescribed by law and in accordance with due process and other international human rights obligations. Extraordinary rendition, or any other transfer, without due process, is prohibited”.
He pointed out that Kanu travelled to Kenya on his British passport and was duly admitted as such and as a free man.
“Further, no valid territorial jurisdiction can issue from an act of extraordinary rendition because Kanu is, technically speaking, still in Kenya. The Nigerian bench warrant standing against Kanu is, in the absence of any successful extradition proceedings in Kenya, invalid to arrest in Kenya.
Ejimakor said that he also requested the Commission to adopt other urgent measures as the Commission deems fit in the circumstances to protect Nnamdi Kanu in the interim, adding that a fact-finding visitation to Nigeria is also in the reckoning.
“In my previous press briefings, I had said – with much confidence – that Kanu’s trial will be a trial within trial. To those who didn’t fully grasp what it meant, this extant continental legal action will give you a clue. And this is just the beginning.
“To be sure, any nation that dabbles in extraordinary rendition has unwittingly brought impediments to her territorial jurisdiction. So, Nigeria, whether it admits it or not, has triggered a hornet’s nest that has, for the first time, brought the international legal order to bear on the matter of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.”