Nnamdi Kanu speaks on UN’s demand for his release

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Detained leader of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra Mazi Nnamdi Kanu on Monday expressed joy at the United Nations advice to the Nigerian yto immediately release him from the custody of the Department of State Services.

Kanu’s response was issued by his lawyer, Alloy Ejimakor, in a tweet after a visit to the IPOB leader.

It reads: “Update: I just exited from visiting Onyendu #MNK. We discussed issues that have lingered from when I last saw him on 27th June. The big event was his landmark victory at the United Nations. It made him cheery & he expressed his profound gratitude to the Team that made it happen.”

The report was issued by the UN Human Rights Council’s Working Group on Arbitrary Detentions.

The UN Working Group also threatened to take further action to ensure the recommendations are complied with, noting that both Nigeria and Kenya are signatories to the Convention and should comply.

The 16-page report dated July 20, 2022 was adopted on April 4 by the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention at its 93rd session, held between March 30 and April 8, 2022.

The UN Working Group said: “Noting the failure of the Government to explain what actions of Mr. Kanu amounted to such criminal acts and how, and observing the lack of any evidence that any of his actions may in fact amount to such crimes, the Working Group concludes that Mr. Kanu is in fact being persecuted for the peaceful exercise of his rights, most notably his freedom of opinion and expression.

“In the present case, the Government of Nigeria has presented no exceptions permitted under article 19 (3) of the Covenant nor is there any evidence to suggest that Mr. Kanu’s exercise of his right to freedom of opinion and expression was anything but peaceful.

”In fact, the Government has chosen not to provide any explanation for the arrest, detention and subsequent proceedings against Mr. Kanu. In these circumstances, the Working Group concludes that Mr. Kanu’s detention is thus arbitrary under category II.”

The Working Group on Arbitrary Detention was established in resolution 1991/42 of the UN Commission on Human Rights.

 

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