British High Commission Distances Itself From Nnamdi Kanu’s Arrest

The British High Commission has spoken on the arrest of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). 

Dean Hurlock, a spokesperson of the British High Commission, told The Cable newspaper that while they can confirm Kanu’s arrest, noting that he was not picked up in the UK where he is based. 

Nnamdi Kanu was arrested outside the shores of Nigeria on Sunday, June 27 according to Nigerian authorities. 

“We can confirm that Nnamdi Kanu was not arrested in the UK for extradition purposes.” It has been difficult for the Nigerian government to re-arrest Kanu since he jumped bail in 2017, mainly due to the fact the IPON leader is a British citizen. Government sources say the IPOB leader was arrested outside the UK. 

On his part, former presidential media aide, Reno Omokri gave details on how Kanu was allegedly arrested outside the UK. 

Omokri wrote on his Facebook page: “I just spoke with a top UK government source. Nnamdi Kanu was not arrested or extradited by the British.

 According to this official, Kanu was “almost definitely arrested in KENYA” and “it was an illegal detention”. I won’t reveal my source, but I have him on record.

“For those who do not know how these things operate, the United Kingdom is a civilised nation that is governed by the rule of law. No one, no matter how wanted, can be arrested and extradited without extradition hearings before a court, especially when that person is a British citizen.

 “There are Nigerians who are currently fighting their extradition to Nigeria in court in the UK. They cannot leave the UK on their own volition or on the request of the Nigerian government until their hearings are exhausted. If they lose at the court of the first instance, they have a right of appeal. 

“I repeat, Nnamdi Kanu was not arrested or extradited by the British government.” Meanwhile, elder statesman and Second Republic aviation minister, Mbazulike Amechi, has advised the federal government to give Kanu a fair hearing and should be assumed innocent until he is found guilty by a court of competent jurisdiction. 

He also said the federal authorities should be cautious about the way they will handle Kanu, and the way they will handle his case. 

In a related development, the Igbo National Council, INC, on Tuesday, July 29 advised the federal government to tread with caution on the arrest and extradition to Nigeria of Kanu. 

The INC president Chilos Godsent made the position of the group known in a statement sent to journalists hours after the reports of the arrest of Kanu, as according to him, the IPOB’s leader’s arrest could spark protests across the southeast if not well managed by federal authorities.

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