The United Kingdom (UK) High Commission in Nigeria declared on Wednesday that the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office stood ready to provide ‘consular’ assistance on the issue of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s British nationality.
Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, was re-arrested abroad, brought back home and re-arraigned by the Federal Government, on Tuesday and thereafter detained by the Department of State Service (DSS) on court order.
UK’s pledge of assistance is coming as the Nigerian Government vowed that it will not spare anyone who collaborated with the Biafran leader to launch assaults on Nigeria and its people no matter how highly placed such elements may be.
Head of Communications, British High Commission in Abuja, Dean Hurlock, said in a statement: “In response to any queries on whether Nnamdi Kanu was extradited from the UK, we can reafirm that Nnamdi Kanu was not arrested in the UK and nor was he extradited from the UK.
“With regards to any questions about the possible legality of his arrest, the British High Commission in Abuja is currently in the process of seeking clarification from the Nigerian government about the circumstances of the arrest.
“With regard to any questions about whether the British High Commission is providing assistance in this case, we can confirm that the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office stands ready to provide “consular” assistance.
“With regard to any questions about what the UK thinks about the proposed legal process that Nnamdi Kanu is facing in Nigeria, the UK would expect any trial or legal proceedings to follow due process.
“This is as much as we can say on this matter for now. I will be happy to provide further responses to additional questions in due course.”
The Nigerian government however assured Nnamdi Kanu of fair trial in his 11-count treasonable felony, terrorism and illegal possession of firearms charge, which is pending before a Federal High Court in Abuja.
The Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, made the position of the Federal Government known at a media briefing in Abuja on Thursday morning.
But Mohammed, like his Justice counterpart, who unveiled Kanu’s arrest and repatriation on Tuesday, declined to say how and where the IPOB leader was arrested and brought to Nigeria.
His words: “It will interest Nigerians to know that for over two years, our security and intelligence agencies were on the trail of the proscribed IPOB leader as he lived a five-star life across several countries, travelling on chartered private jets, living in luxury apartments and turning out in designing clothes and shoes.
“Of course, as we all saw, he was wearing attire made by Fendi, a luxury Italian fashion brand, when he was arrested.
“The Federal Government wishes to commend the Nigerian security and intelligence agencies, which collaborated to re-arrest the proscribed IPOB leader in one of the most classic operations of its type in the world.
“We commend the professionalism, diligence, patriotism and painstaking efforts of our security and intelligence agencies.
“We also thank the sister international agencies that collaborated with us to pull off this arrest.
“We can tell you that the forensic investigation carried out so far has revealed a treasure trove of information on the proscribed IPOB leader and his collaborators. While the investigation continues, we assure you that none of the collaborators, irrespective of their standing in the society, will be spared.
“They will all face the full wrath of the law for their activities that challenge our nation’s sovereignty and threaten its unity. No one, no matter how highly placed, is bigger than the country.
“It is interesting that many are suddenly calling for a fair trial for Kanu as if he didn’t get one before he decided to jump bail and flee.
“However, I can assure you that the fair deal that Kanu denied many of the victims of the violence which he wilfully instigated through his broadcasts and tweets will not be denied him.
“Finally, there have been speculations on how this re-arrest was pulled off and in which country the hitherto fugitive leader of the proscribed IPOB was nabbed.
“What we can tell you, once again, is that the re-arrest was made possible by the diligent efforts of our security and intelligence agencies, in collaboration with countries with which we have obligations.
“We continue to respect and honour the obligations,” Mohammed said.