The High Court in Britain has granted permission in a judicial review claim challenging the former Foreign Secretary and incumbent Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (UK), Liz Truss’ alleged failure to reach a decisive view on whether Nnamdi Kanu is a victim of extraordinary rendition by the Nigerian authorities.
Newsbreak.ng reports that Kanu is a Nigerian-British citizen who is the leader of the banned Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), a group that calls for self-determination for the people of Eastern Nigeria.
In June 2021, he was arrested at the airport in Nairobi, Kenya. In documents filed in Nigerian court proceedings, the government has admitted its agents ‘intercepted’ and detained Kanu. He was then flown by private plane from Kenya to Nigeria in late June 2021.
Since then, Kanu has been detained at the headquarters of the Department of State Services (DSS) in Abuja.
His legal team has alleged that he has been denied access to medical assistance. Kanu has requested consular assistance from the British government.
In the past year, British High Commission officials in Abuja have been permitted to visit him on at least two occasions.
The IPOB leader’s family has requested the British Government take steps to secure his release.
Shirin Marker, one of the solicitors at Bindmans LLP acting for Kanu’s family, said: “It is important for the Foreign Secretary to reach a firm conclusion on whether Kanu has been the victim of extraordinary rendition in order to decide what steps the British government can take to assist him.
“Although it is for the Foreign Secretary to decide what steps to take, what the law demands is engagement with the evidence, reaching a rational, firm conclusion on what has occurred, and then a decision on what Britain should do about it.
“All the evidence available to date establishes Mr Kanu has been subject to extraordinary rendition and torture or inhumane treatment. The UN Working Group had no hesitation in concluding this was so, which begs the question of why Ms Truss and now Mr Cleverly have found the same decision impossible to take.”
Kanu’s family is represented by John Halford and Shirin Marker of Bindmans LLP, together with Charlotte Kilroy KC of Blackstone Chambers and Tatyana Eatwell of Doughty Street Chambers.