—Demands Immediate Release Of IPOB Leader
By Joe Nwankwo,Abuja
The American Counsel to detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) Mazi Nnamdi Kanu Bruce Fein has dragged Nigeria before the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHC) demanding his immediate release and the quashing of all charges filed against him by the Federal Government of Nigeria.
This is as he described his abduction from Kenya and subsequent detention in Nigeria as unlawful, illegal and a gross abuse of his fundamental human rights just as he averred that “it is clearly impossible for the Federal Republic of Nigeria to invoke any legal basis for the continued detention of Kanu.
According to the addressed to the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention in the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights United Nations Office in Geneva he urged “for an urgent action regarding the Federal Republic of Nigeria’s arbitrary detention of Nnamdi Kanu after kidnapping, torture, extraordinary rendition from Kenya, denial of rights of access to counsel of his choosing and discrimination based on Biafran identity.
“On or about June 19th,2021 Mazi Nnamdi Kanu then lawfully present in Kenya was kidnapped at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. He was detained and tortured for approximately ten days with no access to counsel and subjected to extraordinary rendition in Abuja, Nigeria on or about June 29th,2021, without hearing before either a judicial or administrative body” he added.
Fein stated that “Kanu has been detained in solitary confinement by Nigeria’s Department of State Security Services (DSS) in Abuja despite a serious heart ailment, he has been refused access to professional medical care. His life is in jeopardy which explains this urgent action.
“Under detention in Abuja, Kanu has been permitted access to buy two persons on Mondays and Thursday for two hours each session. That limited time is inadequate to prepare a full and professional defense. Moreover, his local Attorney, Barrister Ifeanyi Ejiofor, has been denied even pencil and paper to memorize facts, ideas, tactics and strategy decided upon by Kanu. Further I was denied access, on September 2nd and 6th,2021 to Kanu to advise him on international law issues or otherwise by the DSS” he added.
Fein maintained that “Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s solitary detention without more, is arbitrary in violation of Article 9, of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 9(1) of the International Convenant on Civil and Political Rights.
On the allegation that Mazi Nnamdi committed treasonable felony by broadcasting on Radio Biafra announcing preparations for secession of States in the South-East/South South zones of Nigeria Fein contended that allegation cannot be sustained as according to him treason consists of levying war against Nigeria. And there is no allegation that the broadcast contemplated, incited, urged or encouraged warfare or violence of any type against Nigeria.
He maintained that “Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s detention is also arbitrary because the product of crimes of kidnapping-extraordinary rendition from Kenya by the Federal Republic of Nigeria without a hearing or any form of due process in violation of Articles 9 and 14 of the ICCPR. Governments should never benefit from their own wrongdoing.
“Kanu’s denial of right to Counsel after detention with time and facilities necessary to prepare a defense is arbitrary and a violation of Article 14.2(b) of the ICCPR. Nnamdi Kanu has been tortured by the Federal Republic of Nigeria in violation of the Convention Against Torture by detention in solitary confinement coupled with denial of necessary medical care to treat his heart condition. The violation makes his continued detention arbitrary under Article 9 of the UDHR and Article 9(1) of the ICCPR” he declared.
Fein further averred “Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s detention is additionally arbitrary because a significant motivation is the Federal Government’s opposition to his political opinions protected by Article 19 of the UDHR and Article 19 of the ICCPR. Kanu’s detention is further arbitrary because based significantly if not excluding on his ethnicity as a Biafrian in violation of Article 2 of the UDHR and Article 2 of ICCPR.