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Kanu drags Nigeria and Kenya to an international tribunal

By: Barrister Aloy Ejimakor

A few days ago, I commenced a continental legal action against Nigeria and Kenya before the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights, demanding accountability for the extraordinary rendition of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.

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”.

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A victim of extraordinary rendition is entitled to remedies mandated by the Charter.

Therefore, among many other reliefs, I requested that Kanu be restored to his state of being before the rendition, which state of being was that he travelled to Kenya on his British passport and was duly admitted as such and as a free man.

Further, that no valid territorial jurisdiction can issue from an act of extraordinary rendition because Kanu is, technically speaking, still in Kenya.

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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.

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.

In my previous press briefings, I had said – with much confidence – that Kanu’s trial will be a trial within trial. To those who didn’t fully grasp what it meant, this extant continental legal action will give you a clue. And this is just the beginning.

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To be sure, any nation that dabbles in extraordinary rendition has unwittingly brought impediments to her territorial jurisdiction. So, Nigeria, whether it admits it or not, has triggered a hornets nest that has, for the first time, brought the international legal order to bear on the matter of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.

Signed:
Aloy Ejimakor, Esquire
Special Counsel to Nnamdi Kanu

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