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Nnamdi Kanu’s family lawyers filed a lawsuit against the UK Secretary, attempting to compel the UK to act in response to the IPOB leader’s alleged torture and detention in Nigeria.

Nnamdi Kanu Biafra Jesus

The family of IPOB leader Nnamdi Kanu has accused Liz Truss, the UK Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, of ignoring evidence that the IPOB leader was brought to Nigeria in an act of extraordinary rendition from Kenya.

They also charged Liz Truss with failing to bring Nnamdi Kanu’s “illegal” incarceration in Nigeria to an end.

Since his rendition to Nigeria in June 2021, Kanu, the head of the outlawed separatist organization, has been detained. The IPOB leader is a British citizen, and his fans and family are disappointed that the UK appears to be doing little to help him get released.

The Nigerian government earlier stated that Kanu was extradited to Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, with the help of Interpol, but Kanu’s family claims that the IPOB leader was apprehended and tortured in Kenya before being transferred to Nigeria.

According to the Guardian UK, the family’s lawyers, Bindmans LLP, say there is “overwhelming evidence” that he was subjected to extraordinary rendition in a pre-action legal letter to Foreign Secretary Liz Truss.

The letter highlights Kanu’s statement to his lawyers and brother, an expert report identifying the flight they believe he was illegally carried on, and the Nigerian government’s unwillingness to provide facts as to how Kanu – who did not have his British passport with him – arrived in Nigeria.

Bindmans, which has threatened legal action over Kanu’s lack of consular aid, says Truss must decide if a breach of international law has occurred or face a court challenge.

“If Mr Kanu has been subject to extraordinary rendition, this is a grave breach of international law which has a significant impact on the discretion which the secretary of state exercises in respect of the steps she should take to assist Mr Kanu under international and domestic law,” wrote Bindmans solicitor Shirin Marker.

“Forming a view as to whether a breach of international law has occurred, and if so the gravity of the breach, is therefore an essential prerequisite to the exercise of discretion on taking further steps at international and domestic law.”

Kanu was tortured and subjected to inhumane treatment in Kenya last year, according to the letter. He was allegedly apprehended by Kenyan security officers and taken to a residence where he was tied to the floor and assaulted for eight days. On June 27, he was loaded on a private jet and flown to Abuja, according to the letter.

“With every passing day, I am increasingly concerned for my brother’s welfare in jail and increasingly disappointed by the UK government’s ineffectiveness in supporting him,” Kanu’s brother, Kingsley, stated. “I’m hoping the court will find that the foreign secretary must recognize the gravity of my brother’s predicament and carefully evaluate what else she can do to help him in light of extraordinary rendition.”

Kanu was arrested and accused with terrorism-related offenses in Nigeria in 2015. However, after getting bail, the military stormed his residence in Abia State in 2017, murdering many IPOB members, according to reports. Kanu eventually left Nigeria.

Following his rendition and confinement by Nigeria’s secret police, the Department of State Services, his case has been reopened at a Federal High Court in Abuja (DSS).

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