By Biodun Busari

Special counsel to the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Aloy Ejimakor has warned that the Federal Government of Nigeria risks diplomatic conflicts with the United Nations (UN) if it refuses to release Nnamdi Kanu unconditionally as demanded by the UN Working Group (UNWG).

Recall that the UN Human Rights Council Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, has indicted both Nigeria and Kenya governments for the arrest and extraordinary rendition, torture and continued detention of the Kanu, without due process.

The council therefore, urged Nigerian government to ensure, “immediate release Kanu unconditionally” and pay him adequate compensations for the arbitrary violation of his fundamental human rights.

Reacting to inaction of the federal government on the directive, Ejimakor, in a statement titled: ‘The UN Working Group’s decision on Nnamdi Kanu is binding on Nigeria’ said “Nigeria is subject to decisions issuing from these UN bodies.”

The statement said: “The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention is a quasi-judicial body that has a subsisting legal mandate of the United Nations to consider and adjudicate human rights petitions against member nations of the UN.

“Its rulings or decisions (diplomatically called Opinions), such as was recently issued in favor of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, are legally binding on Nigeria on myriad grounds, including the fact that the decision is based on the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, both of which Nigeria ratified several decades ago.

“Ratification is a means by which a nation makes itself subject to international laws and treaties. And by the provisions of Section 12 of the Nigerian Constitution and a plethora of decisions by the Supreme Court of Nigeria, ratification makes Nigeria subject to whatever it ratified.

“It needs to be made clear that the UN Working Group is an integral arm of the United Nations Human Rights Council which has the broader UN mandate to determine human rights issues emanating from member nations of the UN.

“It goes without saying therefore that, as a member of the United Nations, Nigeria is subject to decisions issuing from these UN bodies.”

The lawyer said it is advisable for Nigeria to enforce the directives of the UN and file a formal report.
Ejimakor, in the statement, said further: “It will be recalled that the UN body recently considered Nnamdi Kanu’s matter and held that “The removal of Mr. Kanu from Kenya amounted to extraordinary rendition”.

“In clarification, the body further held that “Mr. Kanu’s arrest and transfer to Nigeria lacked a legal basis and due process of law, in violation of article 9 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and article 9 of the Covenant”.

“In its conclusions, the UN body held that “The appropriate remedy would be for the Government of Nigeria to release Mr. Kanu immediately and accord him an enforceable right to compensation in accordance with international law”.

“Without more, Nigeria is duty-bound to implement this decision in its letters and spirit. And it is expected to do so promptly and to, within six months, file a formal report of its implementation with the United Nations.

“Unarguably, failing to implement this decision would mean that Nigeria is thumping its nose at the United Nations and unwittingly triggering a nasty diplomatic conflict that could make it a pariah State.”

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