…expresses readiness ‘to provide consular assistance’
British government says it has already ‘open talks’ with the Federal Government on the recent arrest and repatriation of the leader of the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu.
The British High Commission, through its spokesperson, Dean Hurlock, told TheCable on Wednesday that it was “in the process of seeking clarification” from the Nigerian government regarding Kanu’s arrest and detention in the custody of the Department of State Services.
The INTERPOL, in conjunction with Nigerian diplomatic security officials, on Sunday arrested Kanu, who is also a British citizen, and extradited him to Nigeria to face trial for alleged treason.
On Tuesday, Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, told journalists at a press conference that Kanu was “intercepted through the collaborative efforts of Nigerian intelligence and Security Services.”
Although Malami did not disclose which country the IPOB leader was arrested, it was learnt that Kanu, who is based in the UK, was lured to an African country with a promise of cash donations, where he was then apprehended by the INTERPOL.
It was gathered that he was tracked through some IPOB members, who were recently arrested following a massive military operation in the South-East.
The British High Commission spokesman in the message to TheCable, said the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office “stands ready to provide consular assistance” on Kanu’s matter.
“The British High Commission in Abuja is currently in the process of seeking clarification from the Nigerian government about the circumstances of the arrest,” TheCable quoted Hurlock as saying.
The official added that the UK “would expect any trial or legal proceedings to follow due process” when Kanu’s trial resumes.
Kanu was first arrested on October 14, 2015, following years of his campaign for the sovereign state of Biafra.
The IPOB leader was granted bail in April 2017 but fled Nigeria later that year after soldiers invaded his residence in Abia State during a military clampdown on IPOB members.
He said since ran the affairs of IPOB from abroad until his arrest and repatriation back to Nigeria.
Kanu was mostly in the UK from where he runs Radio Biafra, the group’s radio station with which he often engages in fierce monologues preaching his separatist cause.
On Tuesday, following his re-arrest, the Federal Government arraigned him at the Federal High Court in Abuja, where a judge granted the Department of State Services order to remand him in their custody until July 26 when his trial will continue.