UK Court Commences Hearing on Nnamdi Kanu’s Extraordinary Rendition Lawsuit

The Court of Appeal in the United Kingdom (UK) has commenced the hearing of an appeal regarding the extraordinary rendition of Nnamdi Kanu, the embattled leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). Kanu was forcefully transported from Kenya in June 2021 and has been held in solitary confinement by Nigeria’s Department of State Services (DSS).

The UK Court of Appeal scheduled the appeal hearing for June 22, 2023. Aloy Ejimakor, Kanu’s Special Counsel, provided an update on the ongoing hearing in London. He informed the press that on May 8, 2023, Lord Justice Lewis, a senior judge of the British Court of Appeal, granted permission to the Kanu family to appeal the UK High Court’s judgment. The judgment stated that British authorities could lawfully avoid determining whether Nnamdi Kanu was subjected to torture, extraordinary rendition, and arbitrary detention.

Earlier, on March 23, 2023, the UK High Court had rejected the Kanu family’s request for a judicial review of the British government’s failure to reach a conclusive view on Kanu’s extraordinary rendition. This ruling prompted the Kanu family’s legal representatives, Bindmans, to file an application for leave to appeal to the British Court of Appeal.

Lord Justice Lewis, upon assuming jurisdiction over the appeal, acknowledged that the grounds of appeal raised important issues regarding the obligations of the respondent concerning consular assistance for British nationals detained abroad. He also highlighted the proper interpretation and application of the Court of Appeal’s decision in the case of R(Abassi) v Secretary of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office [2003] UKHRR 76.

Considering the urgency arising from Nnamdi Kanu’s continued solitary confinement, the Court of Appeal expedited the hearing of the appeal. As a result, the hearing took place on Thursday, June 22, 2023, and is currently underway, as reported by Ejimakor to SaharaReporters.

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