The British High Commission in Nigeria on Wednesday said the Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office was ready to provide ‘consular assistance’ to the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.
Ripples Nigeria had reported that Kanu was re-arrested abroad, brought back to Nigeria, and re-arraigned by the Federal Government on Tuesday. He was detained by the Department of State Service (DSS) on court order after his case was adjourned to July 26.
Following Kanu’s arrest, many Igbo socio-cultural and socio-political groups like the World Igbo Congress (WIC) and the Ohanaeze Ndigbo and some political leaders from the South-East called on the United Kingdom to defend Kanu, its citizen, against “illegal abduction and extradition.”
Also, the IPOB leader’s family protested what it called the ‘abduction’ of their son from Kenya to Nigeria, describing it as a violation of international law and basic principles of the rule of law.
IPOB had also on Wednesday alleged that its leader was abducted and not intercepted or arrested as claimed by the Nigerian Government, saying it would expose the details of the incident soon.
Following the development, Head of Communications, British High Commission in Abuja, Dean Hurlock, on Wednesday confirmed that the Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office was ready to provide “consular assistance” to Nnamdi Kanu.
He said: “In response to any queries on whether Nnamdi Kanu was extradited from the UK, we can reaffirm that Nnamdi Kanu was not arrested in the UK, nor was he extradited from the UK.
“With regards to any questions about the possible legality of his arrest, the British High Commission in Abuja is currently in the process of seeking clarification from the Nigerian government about the circumstances of the arrest.
“Concerning any questions about whether the British High Commission is providing assistance in this case, we can confirm that the Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office stands ready to provide “consular” assistance.
“Concerning any questions about what the UK thinks about the proposed legal process that Nnamdi Kanu is facing in Nigeria, the UK would expect any trial or legal proceedings to follow due process.
“This is as much as we can say on this matter for now. I will be happy to provide further responses to additional questions in due course.”