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03 August 2021

Urgent plea to the United Nations on behalf of Nnamdi Kanu’s family

2 mins

Nnamdi Kanu’s family have appealed to the United Nations (UN) to take urgent action to secure Mr Kanu’s safety and wellbeing, and to call on the Nigerian authorities to allow him immediate access to his legal representatives, and to doctors, to provide essential medical treatment.

The request is prompted by the continued refusal of the Nigerian Security Services (DSS) to allow UK authorities to visit Mr Kanu in detention, their failure to produce Mr Kanu in court for his recent hearing on 26 July 2021, and refusal to allow him access to his Nigerian legal team.

As far as his family is aware, Mr Kanu continues to be detained in solitary confinement at a DSS facility in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja. They are concerned that Mr Kanu’s health and wellbeing have severely deteriorated in detention and that the Nigerian authorities do not want him to be seen by anyone because of his physical and mental state.

The letter, sent by Bindmans LLP, urges the UN to urgently intervene and obtain confirmation of life from the Nigerian authorities, as well as to secure access to his lawyers and doctors. The UN is also asked to issue a public statement condemning the unlawful acts perpetrated against Mr Kanu, and to urge the UK and international authorities to take immediate steps to ensure Nigeria complies with its international obligations to prevent torture.

The family continue to call on British authorities to do all that they can to secure access and provide assistance to Mr Kanu.

Shirin Marker, solicitor at Bindmans LLP who is representing Mr Kanu’s family, says:

We are very concerned that Mr Kanu was not produced at his hearing on 26 July 2021, and that his lawyers have been prevented from visiting him despite the court ordering access. It is imperative that Mr Kanu’s legal team are allowed to visit him so that his safety and welfare can be assured. We call upon the United Nations to do everything in its power to ensure Nigeria adheres to international standards of fair treatment for Mr Kanu whilst he remains in detention.

Mr Kanu’s family continue to be represented by Shirin Marker, John Halford and Verity Cannell of Bindmans LLP, together with Edward Fitzgerald QC, Jude Bunting and Tatyana Eatwell of Doughty Street Chambers.

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