The Kenya Government has dismissed claims that it was involved in the arrest and extradition of Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, to Nigeria.
Kenya authorities said they could not ascertain whether the arrest of Nnamdi Kanu took place in the East African nation.
Recall that the Nigerian authorities had hinted they seized Nnamdi Kanu in London, United Kingdom before extraditing him to Nigeria.
However, the British High Commission in Nigeria had denied the IPOB leader was arrested or extradited from the UK.
And now, the Director-General of Kenyan Immigration Services, Alexander Muteshi, dismissed the claims of his country’s complicity, arguing that it was not possible to tell whether the separatist leader had entered Kenyan territory.
“I can’t know that,” Mr Muteshi told Kenyan Newspaper, Nation, when asked whether the claims made by the family were true.
“I am not in the picture of his presence in the country. I am only able to tell if somebody entered the country legally,” he added, leaving room for speculation as to whether Kanu had sneaked into Kenya through either illegal routes or under a false name.
Spokesperson for the Kenyan Government, Cyrus Oguna refused to discuss the matter, according to the newspaper.
ANG reported earlier, Nnamdi Kanu’a family and the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, had accused the Kenyan government of having committed the most serious violation of international law.
Kanu was arrested last Sunday by what sources say was a combined operation of Nigerian and foreign security officers. But the exact location of his arrest remains contentious.
SNEAKED INTO KENYA
“I am not in the picture of his presence in the country. I am only able to tell if somebody entered the country legally,” he added, leaving room for speculation as to whether Mr Kanu has sneaked into Kenya through either illegal routes or under a false name.
Government Spokesman Cyrus Oguna refused to discuss the matter and instead referred the Nation to Mr Muteshi, even as the family assailed the Kenyan government, accusing it of having committed the most serious violation of international law.
“The Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s family has learnt that he was unlawfully arrested in Kenya, detained and subsequently subjected to extraordinary rendition from Kenya to Nigeria where he is now detained,” the family said, through Mr Kingsley Kanu, his brother.
Mr Kanu was arrested last Sunday by what sources say was a combined operation of Nigerian and foreign security officers. But the exact location of his arrest remains contentious.
The family’s claims, if true, casts Kenya once again in the eye of international focus so soon after similar claims were made over the abduction and eventual deportation of Selahaddin Gülen to Turkey. He is the nephew of US-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen, who is accused of organising a coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in 2016.
Kenya has a negative history of alleged complicity in similar incidents of abduction and deportation of asylum seekers that have taken place previously.
DETAINED IN KENYA
Mr Abdullah Ocalan, the founder of the Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK), was captured in Nairobi in February 1999 and promptly sent to Turkey to face trial in an operation that the Kenya government is accused of having facilitated.
The arrest and subsequent deportation of Mr Gulen, who was a registered asylum seeker in Kenya and also a permanent US resident, was in tandem with Kenya’s conduct in the past.
Turkey accuses Mr Gulen of being a member of an outlawed organisation headed by his exiled uncle.
Mr Gulen was detained in Kenya for a month before he was handed over to the Turkish authorities on May 31, 2021 despite a court case and orders that had been issued against his detention.
The Kenyan government is yet to comment on the incident.
Mr Kanu, who has been labeled a fugitive by the Nigerian authorities, was taken to a Nigerian Court on Wednesday, where government officials claimed they had arrested him in London, UK.
Nigeria’s Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami, said Mr Kanu’s arrest was planned and executed by Nigerian security and intelligence agencies and coordinated by the Nigeria Intelligence Agency (NIA).