From Stanley Uzoaru, Owerri
Members of Indigenous People of Biafra(IPOB) have expressed doubt if their leader, Nnamdi Kanu, is still alive following the inability to produced him in court, yesterday, by the Department of State Security (DSS).
A statement by the media and publicity secretary of the group, Emma Powerful, said the fear was fuelled by the refusal of the DSS to allow family members and doctors access to Kanu to validate if he was alive or not.
Powerful alleged that the DSS might have continued in the torture of Kanu while in their custody.
“We have enough grounds to suspect foul play. With the failure of DSS to produce our leader in court today without any cogent reason and coupled with the torture meted out to him since his abduction in Kenya, we are worried about the safety of our leader. Considering his deteriorating health condition since he was kidnapped and the refusal of DSS to grant him access to his personal physicians, it is possible that our Leader may have been killed. DSS should prove us wrong by producing our leader in court or granting his lawyers and family members access to him. We are running out of patience. Nigeria should not take IPOB for granted.”
Meanwhile, Kanu has commenced international legal action against Nigeria and Kenya before the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights, demanding accountability over his extraordinary rendition.
His lawyer, Aloy Ejimakor, in a statement, yesterday, said among other reliefs, was the request that Kanu be restored to his state of being before the rendition, which is Kenya, where he travelled to on his British passport and was duly admitted as a free man.
He said no valid territorial jurisdiction can issue from an act of extraordinary rendition because Kanu is, technically speaking, still in Kenya.And that the Nigerian bench warrant standing against Kanu is, in the absence of any successful extradition proceedings in Kenya, invalid to arrest in Kenya.
Said Ejimakor: “A few days ago, I commenced a continental legal action against Nigeria and Kenya b Jurisdiction lies with the Commission because Nigeria and Kenya are state parties to the African Charter; and Nigeria even took a step further to domesticate the Charter, thus making it part of her municipal laws.
“Both countries also have extradition laws that prohibit this sort of reprehensible conduct that saw Kanu to Nigeria. More particularly, extraordinary rendition is expressly prohibited under the African Charter, where It provides in pertinent part that ‘a state may not transfer (e.g. deport, expel, remove, extradite) an individual to the custody of another State unless it is prescribed by law and in accordance with due process and other international human rights obligations. Extraordinary rendition, or any other transfer, without due process is prohibited. A victim of extraordinary rendition is entitled to remedies mandated by the Charter.
“I also requested the Commission to adopt other urgent measures as the Commission sees fit in the circumstances to protect Nnamdi Kanu in the interim. A fact-finding visitation to Nigeria is also in reckoning.”