By Chukwuemeka Chimerue
Aloy Ejimakor, lawyer of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, has lamented that Nigeria misled Kenya to expel the separatist to the country.
In a statement on Sunday, he explained that pro-Biafra agitator is “technically still in Kenya.”
Ejimakor noted that since Kanu travelled to Kenya on a British passport, he should have been expelled to the same country and not Nigeria.
Ejimakor, in a statement he signed entitled: “Kanu is technically still in Kenya,” said it was dubious that Kenya attributed Kanu’s citizenship to Nigeria because it’s his place of birth.
The statement read in part, “Yes, that’s right: In the purest interpretations of foreign relations law, as applied to Britain and Kenya, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu is technically speaking, still in Kenya. How? Dual national or not, Kanu departed Britain and travelled to Kenya as a British citizen and Kenya admitted him as such. That’s the starting point.
“So, after his admission to Kenya, it happens that Kanu must be expelled from Kenyan soil (with or without due process), the next natural and legal thing to do is for Kenya to expel him to Britain, not Nigeria. Choosing to expel him to Nigeria means that he could’ve also been expelled to any other country than Nigeria.
“Why? Because Kanu presented himself to Kenya as a British citizen, not a Nigerian citizen or even a dual citizen. In international law, it was clearly a three-way immigration contract between Kanu, Britain and Kenya. Nigeria was not a party to it; and Nigeria was never in reckoning at the Kenyan port of entry when Kanu presented himself for admission. Lawyers call it the privity of contract.
“Counting from the time of Kanu’s abduction to the infamous rendition, Kenya sighted no other travel document that could’ve, in addition to Britain, attributed another nationality to Kanu, including that of Nigeria. Or, was Kanu admitted to Kenya on a Nigerian birth certificate?
“So, it’s dubious that Kenya attributed Nigerian citizenship to Kanu because sponsors of the abduction and rendition presumably told Kenya that Kanu was born in Nigeria.”
Kanu, 53, was arrested in late 2015 after calling for a separate homeland for the Igbo people in South East Nigeria.
In 2017, he jumped bail, reappearing in Israel and Britain, after attempt was made on his life by the Nigerian army.
On June 29, Nigeria’s justice minister and attorney general, Abubakar Malami, announced Kanu had been “brought back to Nigeria in order to continue facing trial after disappearing.”
The government said last month that Kanu was “brought back” to Nigeria in order to face justice, but gave no details. His family and lawyers say he was taken in Kenya.
His charges include “terrorism, treasonable felony, managing an unlawful society, publication of defamatory matter, illegal posession of firearms and improper importation of goods, among others,” Malami said.