The arrest and reported extradition of the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, have continued to trigger reactions as the government of the United Kingdom, which earlier denied any involvement in the saga, is now seeking clarification from the Federal Government of Nigeria over the circumstances surrounding Kanu’s arrest.
Head of Communications at the British High Commission in Abuja, Dean Hurlock, in a statement on Wednesday, said: “with regards to any questions about the possible legality of his arrest, the British High Commission in Abuja is currently in the process of seeking clarification from the Nigerian government about the circumstances of the arrest.”
He confirmed that the fugitive separatist leader is in the custody of the Nigerian authorities but said that, “in response to any queries on whether Nnamdi Kanu was extradited from the UK, we can reafirm that Nnamdi Kanu was not arrested in the UK and nor was he extradited from the UK.”
He said further that, “With regard to any questions about whether the British High Commission are providing assistance in this case, we can confirm that the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office stands ready to provide consular assistance.
“With regard to any questions about what the UK thinks about the proposed legal process that Nnamdi Kanu is facing in Nigeria, the UK would expect any trial or legal proceedings to follow due process.”
Recall that the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), who announced the arrest and extradition of Kanu to Nigeria on Tuesday, said the secessionist leader, who is a UK citizen, was intercepted with the help of international partners but did not give specific details about the country or location where Kanu was intercepted, a development that has sparked speculations.
“He was intercepted through the collaborative efforts of the Nigerian intelligence and security services,” Malami had said.
He told reporters on Tuesday that Kanu, who prior to he arrest, resided in London, will face fresh charges bordering on alleged terrorism and attempts to instigate the disintegration of Nigerian with his divisive activities.
Kanu would be arraigned at the Federal High Court in Abuja on July 26 as a court order has already being secured to detain him at the facilities of the Department of the State Services (DSS).
Kanu was earlier detained at the Kuje correctional center for two years on charges of criminal conspiracy and belonging to an illegal organisation. He was later released on bail in April 2017.
He thereafter jumped bail and disappeared from the country on the claim that he fled for his life after soldiers invaded his house.