Government remains tit-lipped over whether Nnamdi Kanu was abducted or arrested and forced home to continue with his felony trial.
This is even as the location of his arrest remains a matter of conjecture, with Kenya being speculated as venue.
Legal experts weighed in on the subsequent and widespread use of words ‘arrest’ and ‘extradite’ by lawyers and the media.
Experts consulted by Enugu Metro said arrest and extradition are “terms of art that have specific meanings in law” and that they do not apply to the case.
They pointed out that even Attorney General Abubakar Malami was careful not to use the terms arrest and extradite but resorted to a wooly term, “intercept.”
“We expect lawyers to use the precise term which is ‘extraordinary rendition,’ a fancy term for kidnapping or abduction.,” one said.
The search for venue of the interception continued today as Nairobi, the Kenyan capital, was promoted above Ethiopia.
Enugu Metro reported yesterday that authorities in Ethiopian judiciary dismissed the speculation that Kanu was picked up at Addis Ababa.
Today 30 June, one of Kanu’s brothers mentioned the Kenyan angle, corroborated by an Onitsha-based human rights NGO, Intersociety.
Intersociety gave a graphic picture of Kanu’s movement before his interception, as follows:
“He was arrested on Saturday night of June 26, 2021 in Kenya, a member of the African Union.
“He had travelled to Israel, having transited from Germany to Israel before heading to Kenya, where he was intercepted on Saturday night, 26th June 2021.
“He appeared to have been trapped by some persons of his own tribal stock over some lingering issues.
“His arrest was initially taken to be ‘a minor immigration issue’, which later turned out to be a clear act of ‘strawmen’ and subsequently attracted the involvement of the Nigerian diplomatic officials and security attachés at Nairobi, the country’s capital.
“He was later on Sunday, 27th June 2021 handed over to Nigerian security attaches and diplomatic officials after providing paper evidence that ‘he is being wanted in Nigeria for continuation of his trial where he jumped bail’ and escaped ‘from judicial justice’.”
Several interest groups from the South East and elsewhere have issued statements asking the government to follow legal processes in dealing with the trial of Mr. Kanu.
Nzuko Umunna, a think tank of Igbo professionals specifically asked the that the Federal government should
- uphold the fundamental human rights of the detainee
- Treat Mr. Kanu in line with the treaties and obligations to which Nigeria is a signatory guaranteeing human rights.
- Ensure that the Judiciary carries out the trial without intimidation.
- Most importantly, ensure that no harm comes to Mr. Kanu in detention.
- Reign in those who have threatened his life, so they do not harm him in detention, and
- Because the matter is political, explore the political options.
The organisation volunteered to assist the government should it prefer to enter a political dispute resolution process.