A former Director-General of the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Prof. Bola Akinterinwa, has berated the federal govt over its treatment of IPOB’s Nnamdi Kanu.
Nnamdi Kanu, who is a holder of Nigerian and British passports, was reportedly rearrested in Kenya and extradited back to Nigeria on the 27th of June, 2021.
He was then arraigned before Justice Binta Nyako who ordered his remand in the custody of the DSS until his next trial date which is July 26 and 27.
Kanu, who is facing an 11-count charge of treason, treasonable felony, terrorism and illegal possession of firearms, among others, jumped bail in 2017 and left the country, only to re-emerge in Israel and then in the United Kingdom.
Following his re-arrest, the UK authorities expressed willingness to provide “consular assistance” for Kanu but needed him to assent to the assistance by signing some forms.
But a member of Kanu’s legal team, Aloy Ejimakor, who took the forms to Kanu in DSS custody, said the secret police stopped Kanu from signing the consular assistance forms by the United Kingdom.
Speaking in an online interview with ThePUNCH, Akinterinwa stated that a diplomatic dispute was already brewing between the UK and Nigeria.
He slammed the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), over the manner in which the IPOB leader was extradited to Nigeria.
The former NIIA DG said: “The foundation for the diplomatic row is already laid because if you want to follow the thinking of a French school of thought which says order and counter-order amounts to disorder, I agree with this thinking.
“What we have already, we have the order on the part of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration has decided to attack, in an unfriendly manner, the sovereignty of the British people and in this case, the British Government is responding by saying you Government of Nigeria, you don’t have the right to attack my own sovereignty.”
“In other words, the Muhammadu Buhari’s administration’s order is now being countered order by the British simply because the subject matter, Nnamdi Kanu, is a citizen of the United Kingdom.
“The problem is not as simple as people would have us believe. It is most unfortunate that the very knowledgeable lawyers, who are said to be learned, the Attorney General of the Federation, Malami himself is said to be learned but the problem I always have is when you are learned and we cannot see the outcome of the extent to which one is learned for political reasons.
“You cannot be a Senior Advocate of Nigeria and claim not to know what international diplomatic practice is all about. What is at stake, the encounter that we have resulting from the order of the Nigerian Government and the counter-order of the British government is what we found ourselves because the British are now saying that you cannot try to embarrass a citizen of the United Kingdom.”
According to him, though Nnamdi Kanu is a citizen of Nigeria by birth and later acquired British citizenship, the latter is stronger and effective than the former in international law “because as at the time of the arrest of Nnamdi Kanu, he was holding a passport of the United Kingdom”.
Source: Naija News