The family of Nnamdi Kanu, a British national and leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), have instructed lawyers to press the British authorities to provide immediate consular access to him. Mr Kanu is currently detained in Nigeria, where his family instruct he is being held in solitary confinement without urgent, necessary medical treatment.
In June 2021, Mr Kanu was detained by Kenyan officials before being transferred by Nigerian authorities across the border from Kenya to the Nigerian capital, Abuja. At the time of the transfer, Mr Kanu was not in possession of his British passport. The transfer by Nigerian authorities, without identification documents and with the aim of rendition to justice, amounts to extraordinary rendition and is unlawful under international law.
Bindmans LLP are instructed by Mr Kanu’s family to request that the British government provides consular assistance to Mr Kanu and urgently takes steps to intervene in his ongoing detention. Bindmans have written to the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) requesting consular assistance for Mr Kanu. To date, the FCDO have failed to provide such assistance to Mr Kanu.
Mr Kanu’s kidnapping follows an increase in the Nigerian government’s repression of Biafran separatists. According to Amnesty International, between August 2015 and August 2016 alone, more than 150 people were killed by the Nigerian military at pro-Biafra rallies.
Shirin Marker, solicitor at Bindmans LLP who is representing the family of Mr Kanu, says:
We have asked the British authorities to provide urgent consular assistance to Mr Kanu. This is essential given the allegations that he is currently being tortured and the risk to his life whilst he remains in detention. We urge the FCDO to act immediately before it is too late.
Mr Kanu’s family are represented by Shirin Marker and John Halford of Bindmans LLP, and Tatyana Eatwell and Professor Rachel Murray of Doughty Street Chambers.