Nigerian pro-Biafra Activist sues over his extradition from Kenya


Nigerian political activist, Nnamdi Kanu has moved to the court of law to challenge his extradition from Nairobi to Abuja in June.

According to a petition presented to the High Court by Luchiri and Company Advocates, Kanu argues that his arrest in Kenya and subsequent extradition to Nigeria was unconstitutional and a violation of the Extradition (Contiguous and Foreign Countries) Act Chapter 76 of the laws of Kenya.

Kanu has named the respondents as Interior CS, Director of Immigration, Director of Criminal Investigations, OCPD Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and the Attorney General.

He also wants the court to declare his extradition a violation of the fundamental rights and freedoms to equal protection of the law, human dignity, freedom and security, freedom of movement, fair administrative action, access to justice, the right to be represented in court and a fair hearing as guaranteed in the Constitution of Kenya.

Kanu is seeking an order for “exemplary and punitive damages” issued against the respondents “on account of their gross violation of the subject’s fundamental freedoms and rights as enumerated in the petition”.

He further wants a declaration issued that “detaining the subject without justification and without informing him of the reasons for the detention, holding him incommunicado in deplorable and inhumane conditions” was a violation of Kanu’s rights protected by the Constitution.

He wants to court to issue an order compelling the respondents to furnish him with the designations and ranks of state officers, public officers, police officers, agencies and departments, institutions and organs of government involved in his extradition.

“The subject is believed to have been apprehended at the airport on June 19, 2021, and unlawfully detained for several days after which he was illegally and stealthily extradited to Nigeria without his British passport in utter-non-compliance with laid down processes of laws in Kenya,” the petition claimed.

It added that the subject is a British citizen ordinarily resident in the United Kingdom. “He formerly held Nigerian citizenship but renounced it in 2015. Consequently, his Nigerian passport was taken away from him by Nigerian authorities.”

The petition was filed by Kingsley Kanunta, who is a brother to Kanu. In his affidavit, Kanunta says Kanu is currently being held in detention by the Directorate of State Security Services in Abuja, at the time of filing the petition.

“There are ongoing concerns that Kanu is currently being tortured in detention in Nigeria. Similar actions by Nigerian authorities against pro-Biafra activists have been widely reported and condemned by international human rights organisations as well as United Nations,” he stated.

He asserted that Kenyan authorities ought to have known that Kanu would be in grave danger and at risk of torture if extradited to Nigeria.