The United Kingdom Parliament is set to commence a debate on the “abduction” and repatriation of the leader of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, from Kenya to Nigeria. The British government had clarified that Nnamdi Kanu, who was travelling with a British passport, was not arrested within its shores as controversies trailed the circumstances and where the separatist leader was repatriated from.
IPOB had accused the Buhari regime of abducting its leader in an East African country, a claim confirmed by Mr Kanu’s attorney, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, who accused Kenya’s special police force of arresting, detaining and torturing him before he was later handed over to the Nigerian government. Lord Alton of Liverpool will be raising the issue at the House of Lords and will query the government on the separatist leader’s transfer to Nigeria.
Meanwhile, Kenya High Commissioner to Nigeria, Wilfred Machage, had refuted claims that Mr Kanu was arrested in the country, stating that it was not involved in the whole process. Mr Machage described the claims as “deliberately concocted to fuel antagonistic feelings in the minds of certain sections of the Nigerian people against the people of Kenya.” But the UK Parliament, in a parliamentary schedule seen by Peoples Gazette will set aside a debate on Wednesday, July 7, to discuss the British government’s assessment of Kenya’s role in Mr Kanu’s arrest.
According to the document, Lord Alton of Liverpool will be raising the issue at the House of Lords and will query the government on the separatist leader’s transfer to Nigeria. “Lord Alton of Liverpool to ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of (1) the alleged role of the government of Kenya in the detention and alleged mistreatment of Nigerian activist Nnamdi Kanu, (2) the circumstances surrounding the transfer of Mr Kanu to Nigeria against his will, and (3) of any assistance being provided to him by the High Commission in Abuja. HL1665,” the document read.
Last week, the Head of Communications, British High Commission in Abuja, Dean Hurlock, confirmed that the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office would provide “consular” assistance to Mr Kanu. “With regard to any questions about whether the British High Commission is providing assistance in this case, we can confirm that the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office stands ready to provide ‘consular’ assistance,” Mr Hurlock had said.
Mr Kanu, also a British national was re-arrested by the Nigerian government last week and faces an 11-count charge of treason, treasonable felony, terrorism and illegal possession of firearms, among others.