Inside the Shocking Airport ‘Abduction’ of Rebel Leader Nnamdi Kanu

ABUJA, Nigeria—Witnesses to the surprising public kidnapping of Nigerian and British nationwide Nnamdi Kanu—head of the Indigenous Individuals of Biafra (IPOB) group—instructed The Every day Beast that the separatist chief was stepping out of his automotive at an airport when a bunch of closely armed males forcefully seized him to rearrange his switch to Nigeria.

In June, Kanu—who faces a number of costs in Nigeria, together with treason—had pushed into the underground parking zone at Jomo Kenyatta Airport in Kenya’s capital metropolis of Nairobi. He had barely exited his two-door Audi TT when seven gun-wielding males rushed him and dragged him to their ready automobile, in response to an airport staffer who witnessed the incident.

“Their purpose was to seize him,” the airport employees instructed The Every day Beast. “They didn’t ask him any questions. They simply grabbed him.”

As Kanu screamed for assist, quite a lot of individuals who had been on the parking zone walked as much as the scene and requested the armed males why they had been taking the Nigerian, bystanders stated. The lads then allegedly responded by saying Kanu was a terrorist working for the Somalian jihadist group, al-Shabaab, after which they pressured him into their automobile and drove away.

“They didn’t all look Kenyan, and people who spoke didn’t have Kenyan accents,” an airport staffer, who didn’t need their id revealed as they don’t seem to be approved to talk on the matter, stated. “I’m not solely satisfied they had been from any of Kenya’s safety businesses.”

A part of this account of the incident corroborates the outline given by Kanu’s particular counsel, Aloy Ejimakor, on how his consumer was arrested. Ejimakor, who heard immediately from Kanu on how he was seized in Nairobi, had told the BBC that his consumer was “grabbed” in “a really bodily and tough means” at Jomo Kenyatta Airport by a bunch of “well-armed” males. In line with Ejimakor, the lads drove him to a personal residence, the place he was “chained to the ground” and “tortured” for eight days, earlier than being blindfolded and flown to Nigeria’s capital of Abuja in a personal jet on June 27, with out having to cross via Kenyan passport management.

“The folks that kidnapped him stated that they had been instructed by their sponsors that Kanu was a Nigerian terrorist linked to the Islamic terrorists in Kenya, presumably al-Shabaab,” Ejimakor told Premium Times, a Nigerian newspaper. “However after a number of days once they found his true id, they tended to deal with him much less badly. Regardless of that, they instructed him they felt dedicated at hand him over to people who employed them.”

There’s one thing fishy about this.

— Senior Nigerian navy official.

The Nigerian authorities has refused to offer particulars on how Kanu was apprehended. When Lawyer Common Abubakar Malami first introduced his arrest and detention on June 29, he stated the separatist chief was “intercepted via the collaborative efforts of the Nigerian intelligence and safety providers,” whereas Data Minister Lai Mohammed instructed reporters days later that Kanu’s seize “was made attainable by the diligent efforts of our safety and intelligence businesses, in collaboration with nations with which we now have obligations.”

The silence by the authorities in Nigeria as to how Kanu—who’s additionally a British citizen—was arrested appears to present weight to hypothesis that the armed males who seized him in Nairobi had been mercenaries employed by the Nigerian authorities, extra in order the Kenyan authorities has denied it was involved in Kanu’s arrest and extradition. Britain has even needed to wade in by asking the West African nation to explain how the IPOB leader arrived in detention.

“If due course of was adopted within the arrest and extradition of Kanu, the Kenyan authorities would have been blissful to announce it,” a senior Nigerian navy official instructed The Every day Beast privately. “There’s one thing fishy about this.”

Certainly, Kenya has by no means shied away from revealing particulars about deportations. The March 5 deportation of Isaac Sturgeon—an American nationwide who fled to Kenya after collaborating within the Jan. 6 rebellion on the U.S. Capitol—was shortly confirmed by Kenyan authorities after the country’s immigration and police had been knowledgeable he was in Nairobi. Sturgeon, who’s accused of choosing up a steel barricade on the Capitol and utilizing it to shove again law enforcement officials who had been guarding the constructing, was instantly arrested by the FBI on arrival at John F. Kennedy Worldwide Airport in New York Metropolis the next day.

“As for Kanu, it simply appears to be like like this was a job achieved by mercenaries [hired by the Nigerian government],” the navy officer stated. “That explains why the federal government is refusing to offer particulars of his arrest and extradition.”

In recent times, Kanu had grow to be a thorn within the aspect of the federal government, utilizing social media to advocate for Biafran independence and continuously taunting Buhari, who’s from the predominantly Muslim northern area of Nigeria, whom he accuses of ethnic bias, particularly in direction of the Igbo individuals who make up the southeast area.

In actual fact, it was in response to the agitations of pro-Biafran separatists that led Buhari to threaten to “deal with” people in the southeast in a social media put up over a month in the past, when he wrote that “a lot of these [referring to IPOB supporters] misbehaving immediately are too younger to concentrate on the destruction and lack of lives that occurred through the Nigerian Civil Conflict. These of us within the fields for 30 months, who went via the warfare, will deal with them within the language they perceive.”

The put up, which Buhari shared on each his Fb and Twitter accounts, was deleted by social media corporations for violating their insurance policies on abusive habits. In response, the Nigerian authorities banned Twitter in the country over what Data Minister Lai Mohammed described as “the persistent use of the platform for actions which are able to undermining Nigeria’s company existence.”

Mohammed later implied that Twitter’s lack of motion in opposition to Kanu’s tweets contributed to the ban.

Kanu, who spent a lot of his grownup life within the UK, was first arrested in Lagos in 2015 on an 11-count cost bordering on terrorism, managing an illegal society, treason and unlawful possession of firearms, amongst others. He was jailed for greater than a 12 months despite a number of court orders ruling for his release. The IPOB chief was finally released on bail in 2017 however fled overseas, the place he continued to advocate for the secession of Nigeria’s southeastern area. A previous secession try was made in 1967, beneath the title of the Republic of Biafra, triggering a three-year civil warfare during which almost three million folks died.

Biafra, which represented the nationalist aspirations of the Igbo ethnic group, was reunited with Nigeria after the warfare led to 1970, however widespread outrage by the Igbos, who felt they had been being marginalised by successive Nigerian governments, led to the creation of IPOB in 2014 with the only purpose of restoring the Republic of Biafra.

However whereas the federal government is bent on guaranteeing that Kanu, who’s spearheading the marketing campaign for Biafran independence, is tried in court docket and convicted, his legal professional believes he’s a sufferer of an “abduction” and has no case to reply.

“Kanu’s trial is meant to be opposed,” Ejimakor tweeted. “If any trial happens, it’s people who renditioned him that might be on trial.” | Contained in the Surprising Airport ‘Abduction’ of Insurgent Chief Nnamdi Kanu


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