The United Nations, UN Human Rights Council Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, has indicted both the Nigerian and Kenyan governments for the arrest and extraordinary rendition, torture and continued detention of the Leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, without due process.
The UN, therefore, asked the Nigerian government to "immediately release Kanu unconditionally” and pay him adequate compensation for the arbitrary violation of his fundamental human rights.
It also recommends that government officials responsible for the torture meted to the IPOB leader be investigated and punished.
The UN body further directed Nigeria to report back within six months of the transmission of its opinions on Kanu’s matter, with steps taken to comply with all the recommendations thereof.
It referred the case of Kanu’s torture to the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment for further consideration.
The UN Working Group also threatened to take further action to ensure the recommendations are complied with, noting that both Nigeria and Kenya are signatories to the Convention and should comply.
The 16-page report dated July 20, 2022, was adopted on April 4 by the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention at its 93rd session, held between March 30 and April 8, 2022.
The unedited version of the document sighted by Vanguard was marked: "Opinion No. 25/2022 concerning Mr. Nwannekaenyi Nnamdi Kenny Okwu-Kanu (Nigeria and Kenya).
The Working Group on Arbitrary Detention was established in resolution 1991/42 of the UN Commission on Human Rights.
In accordance with its methods of work, the Working Group, on December 30, 2021, transmitted to the Nigerian and Kenyan governments a communication concerning
Mr. Nwannekaenyi Nnamdi Kenny Okwu-Kanu.
According to the report, Nigeria replied to the communication on January 25, 2022, while the government of Kenya did not reply.
Both countries are parties to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
The Working Group said in the report that Kanu was a victim of state persecution as Nigeria failed to provide convincing explanations with proof that he was guilty of treason and other criminal allegations leveled against him.