The UK Minister of State for the Commonwealth, Lord Tariq Ahmad, has demanded that President Muhammadu Buhari’s regime explain to the British government how it repatriated Igbo secessionist leader Nnamdi Kanu from Kenya.
The request followed a debate by the UK Parliament on July 7, during which British lawmakers discussed the UK government’s assessment of Kenya’s role in Mr Kanu’s arrest.
Lord Alton of Liverpool raised the issue at the House of Lords, seeking to address the controversies surrounding the transfer of Mr Kanu 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.”
Mr Ahmad 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.
While Mr Buhari’s regime has refused to make public how it repatriated the IPOB leader from Kenya, the UK government had clarified that Mr Kanu travelling with a British passport was not arrested within its shores.
IPOB had also accused Kenya’s special police force of arresting, detaining, and torturing Mr Kanu before the authorities handed him over to the Nigerian government. But Kenya, through its high commissioner to Nigeria, Wilfred Machage, refuted the claim.
According to him, the East African country was not involved in the whole process.
But findings by The Guardian, a UK newspaper, indicated that he was arrested in Kenya, as Mr Kanu’s UK passport remains in Kenya.
He was said to have entered Kenya this year with his British passport on a visa expiring in June, the newspaper reported.
Also, Kingsley Kanu, a brother to the British-Nigerian citizen, claimed that they spoke over the telephone a few days before his arrest in June.