The family of Nnamdi Kanu has been granted a court hearing to argue that the UK government should have gotten involved in his dispute with the Nigerian government.
Kanu, a British national who was purportedly extradited to Nigeria, is the head of the Indigenous People of Biafra, a well-known separatist movement outlawed in Nigeria.
In June of last year, he was detained in Kenya before being taken against his will to Nigeria, where he has been detained ever since.
In a July report, the UN working committee on arbitrary detention concluded that the father of two had been the victim of extraordinary rendition and urged his immediate release.
However, prior to becoming prime minister, Liz Truss and subsequent UK foreign secretaries Dominic Raab failed to express an opinion on whether Kanu was a victim of extraordinary rendition.
According to The Guardian UK, the family has been granted a judicial review to appeal that denial on the grounds that it has prevented any action from being taken to assist him.
“The British government is well known for its stance on human rights. I believe it must be decisive when it comes to its decision-making about very serious violations of the human rights of British citizens abroad, especially when the facts are clear, as they are in my brother’s case, and when the UN has investigated and reached a firm conclusion that my brother was subject to extraordinary rendition. I am very happy that the court has agreed that a hearing is necessary to decide this important issue,” the IPOB leader’s brother, Kingsley Kanu, was quoted to have said.
Kingsley Kanu’s attorney, Shirin Marker of Bindmans LLP, said that James Cleverly, the new foreign secretary, needed a definitive answer on the question of whether his client’s brother had been the victim of extraordinary rendition in order to determine the best course of action for helping him.
“The evidence available to date establishes that he has been subject to extraordinary rendition and torture or inhumane treatment,” she said. “It is unacceptable for the UK government to continue to prevaricate on this issue. We are glad that the court has now granted permission for this case to move to a final hearing.”
Explaining her decision to grant a judicial review hearing, Mrs Justice Ellenbogen said: “Such decisions/inaction are, in principle, reviewable and do not enter forbidden areas, including decisions affecting foreign policy.”