The UK Minister of State for Commonwealth, Lord Tariq Ahmad, has demanded that the Federal Government of Nigeria explain to the British government how it repatriated leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu from Kenya.
The request followed a debate by the UK Parliament on July 7, during which members of Parliament discussed the UK government’s assessment of Kenya’s role in Kanu’s arrest, Peoples Gazette reports.
Lord Alton of Liverpool raised the issue at the House of Lords, seeking to address the controversies surrounding the transfer of the IPOB leader to Nigeria against his will.
“Lord Alton of Liverpool to ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of (1) the alleged role of the government of Kenya in the detention and alleged mistreatment of Nigerian activist Nnamdi Kanu, (2) the circumstances surrounding the transfer of Mr Kanu to Nigeria against his will, and (3) of any assistance being provided to him by the High Commission in Abuja. HL1665,” a parliamentary schedule seen by Peoples Gazette stated.
In response to the parliament’s debate, Mr Ahmad said, “We are seeking clarification from the Nigerian Government about the circumstances of the arrest and detention of Nnamdi Kanu.”
The minister also confirmed claims by the British High Commission in Abuja that the UK government was providing consular assistance for the IPOB leader.
“The UK has requested consular access to Mr Kanu from the Nigerian government, and we stand ready to provide consular assistance,” he maintained.
The UK government had clarified that Kanu who was earlier reported to have been repatriated from Britain, was not arrested within its shores.
IPOB had also accused Kenya’s special police force of arresting, detaining, and torturing the secessionist agitator before the authorities handed him over to the Nigerian government. But Kenya’s High commissioner to Nigeria, Wilfred Machage, refuted the claim.
But findings by The Guardian, a UK newspaper, indicated that the IPOB leader was arrested in Kenya, as Kanu’s UK passport remains in Kenya.