Rights Violation: Nnamdi Kanu’s Wife, Lawyer Petition UN, Seek Independent Probe

A file photo of Nnamdi Kanu (second left) at the court in Abuja. Kola Sulaimon/AFP


Bruce Fein, the lawyer to the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), has petitioned the UN Security Council to investigate Nigeria and Kenya over the arrest and extradition of the secessionist. 

Kanu, who was arrested in June last year in Kenya and brought to Nigeria after leaving the country in 2017, is in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS).

But in a petition co-signed by Kanu’s wife, Uche Kanu, dated April 9, 2022, and addressed to the UK ambassador to the UN, Barbara Woodward, the duo sought the council’s probe into the “criminal kidnapping, torture, extraordinary rendition” of Kanu.

“Dear President Woodward: We, the undersigned respectfully petition the United Nations Security Council, acting under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, to pass a resolution establishing an international independent investigation Commission to establish criminal responsibility for Nnamdi Kanu’s kidnapping, torture, and extraordinary rendition from Nairobi, Kenya to Abuja, Nigeria on or about June 2021, and indefinite, ongoing, arbitrary detention in solitary confinement thereafter by the Federal Government of Nigeria,” the petition obtained by Channels Television read.

“The resolution should also establish a Special Tribunal to prosecute persons the Commission finds have been responsible for Nnamdi Kanu’s kidnapping, torture, extraordinary rendition, and arbitrary detention.

“Convincing evidence in the public domain, direct and circumstantial, implicate Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, Nigerian Attorney-General Abubakar Malami, and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, among others, in the above-referenced crimes against Nnamdi Kanu. The governments of Nigeria and Kenya cannot be trusted to investigate or prosecute themselves.

“The universal legal principle that a person cannot be a judge in his own case applies here.

“We submit that Security Council Resolution 1595, which established an independent Commission to investigate the assassins of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Harari, and Security Council Resolution 1757, which established a Special Tribunal for the prosecution of the responsible parties found by the independent Commission, should be considered as templates for the corresponding resolutions we are requesting for investigation and prosecution of the crimes against Nnamdi Kanu by Nigerian and Kenyan government officials or their agents.

“We would welcome the opportunity to meet with you or your staff in person or over the internet to further elaborate on this petition.”