•Warns of consequences if torture allegations are confirmed
•Wants further violations of right halted
•Kanu’s extra-judicial, ordinary rendition’ll not weaken IPOB but destroy Nigeria, IPOB replies Garba Shehu
By Chimaobi Nwaiwu & Steve Oko
The United Nations, UN, has issued ‘Urgent Appeals” to both the Nigerian and Kenyan Governments, demanding immediate stoppage of any torture or violation of rights committed against the detained Leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.
UN also warned of serious consequences if the allegations of torture and violation of fundamental human rights against the IPOB leader were confirmed.
This came as the IPOB, yesterday, told the federal government of Nigeria that the alleged illegal rendition of its leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu will not weaken the group but will rather destroy Nigeria.
IPOB disclosed this in reply to the statement credited to the Senior Special Assistant Media to President Muhammadu Buhari, Malam Garba Shehu that conviction of Mazi Kanu will lead to the end of IPOB agitation.
The UN intervention followed a petition to the UN by Kanu’s brother, Kanunta Kanu ; and his Special counsel, Mr. Aloy Ejimakor.
UN’s “Urgent Appeals” to Nigeria and Kenya according to a statement by Kanunta have been transmitted to both countries since August 26 and acknowledgement received from the Nigeria’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York on September 17.
The statement made available to Vanguard Tuesday read in part:”In particular, the said Urgent Appeals state in part that the United Nations is “alarmed by the alleged torture and ill-treatment Mr. Kanu has been subjected to during his illegal custody in Kenya.
It further read: “If confirmed, these allegations would constitute prima facie violations of fundamental human rights, including the right not to be arbitrarily deprived of liberty, and the absolute and non-derogable prohibition of torture and other ill-treatment under the International Covenant on Political and Civil Rights, ICCPR.
“The allegations in the case of Mr. Kanu raise serious violations of international human rights law and may cause irreparable damage to his life or personal integrity, which we believe warrants prompt attention.
“In this regard, we are considering to publicly express our concerns in this case in the near future, believing that the wider public should be informed about the implications of these allegations for the enjoyment and exercise of human rights in Kenya and Nigeria.
“Any public expression of concern in this regard, will indicate that we have been in contact with your Excellency’s Government to clarify the issue/s in question.
“While awaiting a reply, we urge that all necessary interim measures be taken to prevent any irreparable damage to the life or personal integrity of Mr. Kanu, halt the alleged violations and prevent their re-occurrence and in the event that the investigations support or suggest the allegations to be correct, to ensure the accountability of any person responsible of the alleged violations”.
On why Kanu’s brother decided to seek UN intervention, the statement said: “Following the extraordinary rendition of my elder brother, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, I undertook a number of urgent steps within the realm of the international community, particularly in Britain and the United Nations.
“I worked quietly with my brother’s Special Counsel, Aloy Ejimakor and the Bindmans (my brother’s lawyers in Britain) on a host of muscular interventions aimed at presenting my brother’s case to the international community and facilitating his unconditional release and bringing the culprits of his illegal rendition to account.
“These interventions were not made known to the general public because the applicable rules, especially that of the United Nations, required them to be kept confidential for sixty days.
“Those sixty days just expired and the United Nations has therefore made public the details of its ‘Urgent Appeals’ to the Nigerian and Kenyan Governments, which were transmitted since 26th August, 2021. It also has made public an acknowledgment it received on 17th September, 2021 from the ‘Permanent Mission of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to the United Nations’. Both documents are attached to this Press Release.
“It is important to emphasize that this is just the beginning of more United Nations and other global strong actions that would be seen in the coming weeks.
“While we await for such actions to unfold, we wish to inform the public that we will remain resolute and relentless in bringing the full weight of the international community to bear on the unconditional release of my brother and leader without further delay.”
The UN letter to Nigeria and Kenya over Nnamdi Kanu was jointly signed by Nils Melzer, Special Rapporteur on Torture and other cruel, Inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment; Miriam Estrada-Castillo, Vice-Chair of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention; and Tae-Ung Baik, Chair-Rapporteur of the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances.
Other signatories include: Tlaleng Mofokeng, Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health; Fernand de Varennes,Special Rapporteur on minority issues; and Fionnuala Ní Aoláin, Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism.
Kanu’s extra-judicial, ordinary rendition’ll not weaken IPOB but destroy Nigeria
IPOB in a statement by its Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, told Malam Shehu to bury his face in shame for serving a government that harbour kidnappers and also involves in kidnapping people even from foreign countries.
IPOB statement read in part: “The attention of the global family of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, ably led by our great leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, has been drawn to the ranting and laughable statement from Garba Shehu, the SSA Media to President Buhari, saying that the extraordinary rendition of IPOB leader will lead to the end of IPOB agitation.
“We are surprised at the level of cluelessness and ignorance being displayed by Garba Shehu about the operations of IPOB.
“We therefore, want to assure him and his co-travellers that the extraordinary rendition of our leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, will rather destroy Nigeria and not IPOB.
“Malam Shehu Garba should be ashamed of himself for serving a government that harbour kidnappers and also take part in kidnapping people even from outside Nigeria.
“By kidnapping and renditioning Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, Nigeria has committed international crime and must not go unpunished.
“The world doesn’t need any further proof that IPOB is a peaceful movement. The kidnap of its leader by Nigeria Government is a crime that must be punished.
“So, by this singular violation of international law, Nigeria is already in a mess but instead of admitting the obvious fact, its officials are busy playing to the gallery.
“However, very soon, the masterminds of this heinous crime will be rounded up and handed over to the international criminal court, ICC for prosecution.
“IPOB is not a push-over movement, and we cannot be intimidated. Just very soon, our oppressors will be taught a lesson by ICC in the language they understand.
“IPOB remains a non-violent organisation but has been the victim of the high-handedness of the Nigerian authorities.
“The wicked Nigeria security agents have continued their secret genocide against Biafra agitators. But they will pay for their atrocities very soon.
“We want Garba Shehu, Mungono of the National Intelligence Agency and the Attorney General of Nigeria, Abubakar Malami to stop displaying their ignorance of international law.
“They should equally stop the media trial of our leader whose matter is already pending in a court of law, the whole world knew them and understood that Fulani has destroyed Nigeria and the world will not join them to call IPOB a terrorist organisation.”