Nnamdi Kanu’s family lost a legal bid against the British government in a London court on Thursday over his continued detention in Nigeria. Kanu is the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) leader who has been imprisoned by the Nigerian government since 2021.
Kanu’s brother, Kingsley Kanu, filed a judicial review against the British Foreign Office for allegedly refusing to acknowledge that Nnamdi Kanu, who holds both Nigerian and British citizenship, was the victim of extraordinary rendition from Kenya to Nigeria in June 2021.
Kingsley Kanu’s lawyers argued that the Foreign Office should reach a definitive conclusion on whether his brother was the victim of extraordinary rendition in order to properly assess what steps to take to assist Kanu.
According to Reuters, Judge Jonathan Swift dismissed the case in a written ruling on Thursday, saying the Foreign Office’s decision not to express a firm opinion about Kanu’s treatment, either privately or publicly, was a matter for the government.
On October 3, 2022, Nigeria’s Court of Appeal ruled that Kanu had been unlawfully abducted and returned to Nigeria.
Kingsley Kanu said in a statement that the result was “very disappointing”.
He added he would be seeking permission to appeal against the ruling, which he said “sets a dangerous limitation on the obligations the British authorities have to any British national who has been detained by a rogue state abroad”.
In 2017, the Nigerian government declared the IPOB a terrorist organization and banned it.