West News Wire: The family of imprisoned Biafran separatist leader Nnamdi Kanu lost a legal battle in London against the British government over his detention in Nigeria.

As a result of the British Foreign Office’s apparent unwillingness to accept that Nnamdi Kanu, who holds dual citizenship with Nigeria and the United Kingdom, was the victim of extraordinary rendition from Kenya to Nigeria in June 2021, Kanu’s brother Kingsley Kanu filed a legal appeal against the British government.

The Foreign Office should decide whether Kingsley Kanu’s brother was a victim of extraordinary rendition, according to Kingsley Kanu’s attorneys, so that the Foreign Office can decide how best to support the family.

Judge Jonathan Swift rejected the lawsuit on Thursday, stating it was improper for the Foreign Office to refrain from publicly or privately expressing a strong opinion about Nnamdi Kanu’s treatment.

However, the judge added that the British government’s approach will also now be informed by a ruling from Nigeria’s Court of Appeal on October 13 that found that Nnamdi Kanu had been unlawfully abducted and sent to Nigeria.

Nigeria’s Court of Appeal also dropped seven charges against Nnamdi Kanu, who remains in detention pending an appeal against that decision by the Nigerian government.

Britain’s Foreign Office and Kingsley Kanu’s lawyers did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Nnamdi Kanu founded the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to press for the secession of the Igbo ethnic group’s homeland, which covers part of southeastern Nigeria.

Authorities view IPOB as a “terrorist” group and banned it in 2017. IPOB says it wants to achieve independence through non-violent means. It has authorised sit-at-home orders on Mondays since July 2021, which have crippled small businesses in the region.

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A splinter faction established a paramilitary wing, the Eastern Security Network, which has been accused of human rights violations, abductions and violent attacks on offices of Nigeria’s electoral commission.

The region tried to secede from Nigeria in 1967 under the name of the Republic of Biafra, triggering a three-year civil war in which more than a million people died, mostly from starvation.


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