Federal Government of Nigeria might have ruled out request to extradit the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, from the United Kingdom to face his treasonable felony trial in Nigeria
The IPOB leader was sighted in a video clip, where he was sighted having a prayer session at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem. The video clip was live on the Internet more than one year after soldiers allegedly invaded his house in Afara-Ukwu, Umuahia, Abia State on September 14, 2017 after soldiers were deployed in the South-East for ‘Operation Python Dance II’
Kanu, who holds a dual citizenship of Nigeria and the UK, after the video clip surfaced on the Internet, threatened in a live broadcast, not to ever submit himself for any trial, which was suspended due to his disappearance from Nigeria since last year.
The UK government, during last week of its intention to issue all necessary travel documents to the IPOB leader.
According to a Nigerian local newspaper Punch, sources at the Federal Ministry of Justice, the ministry of Nigerian government which deals with all extradition issues, said there would be no need requesting the IPOB leader deportation to Nigeria.
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The first source said, “it is absolutely unnecessary to call for the extradition. Remember that there is already an ongoing procedure at the Federal High Court in Abuja to compel his three sureties to produce him in court.
“By law, the sureties are the custodian of the defendant and one of their core duties is to ensure that the defendant attends his trial.
“So it is left for the sureties to find how they will bring him to court, not minding the defendant’s threat not to again submit himself to the authorities of the court.
“If they fail to bring him to the court were he was prosecuted, at the end of the ongoing process, they must be ready to face the sanctions, including the forfeiture of their individual N100m bail bonds.”
Another source, who is more familiar with the extradition process doubted the possibility of any success because the UK government had not been on the same page with Nigeria on the proscription of IPOB as a terrorist group or organization.
“The UK government has said it does not see IPOB as a terrorist organisation contrary to the Nigerian government’s position,” the source said.
“So you can see the disparity in the stances of the two countries’ positions on the issue.”
The spokesperson for the Attorney General of the Federation, Mr Salihu Isah and the Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, could not be reached for the AGF’s position on the possibility or otherwise of the Federal Government requesting Kanu’s extradition from the UK.
Hearing in the trial of the IPOB leader before Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court in Abuja has been scheduled to resume on November 14.
Senator Eyinnaya Abaribe and others, who stood bail sureties for the IPOB leader in April last year, are expected to return on the said date to show cause why they should not be made to lose their N100m bail bonds which they entered into to secure Kanu’s bail if they are unable to produce him.
Also, a former Governor of Abia State, Orji Kalu, whom Kanu’s lawyer, Mr. Ifeanyi Ejiofor, had asked the court to summon for insisting that Kanu had escaped to London, is also expected in court at the next hearing date.