Bindmans LLP said it has been instructed by the family of Nnamdi Kanu to raise urgent concerns with UK ministers about the separatist’s detention “in conditions which amount to torture”, Akelicious reports.
The London law firm on Thursday said it has also outlined a series of options for diplomatic and international legal action against Nigeria and key officials in the West African country, requesting assurances that they will be considered urgently and the resulting action plan is then fully explained.
Kanu is a Nigerian-British national and leader of the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). IPOB is agitating for the breakup of Nigeria and sovereign nation of Biafra. Kanu was brought to Nigeria from Kenya in controversial circumstances. Since 27 June 2021, he has been detained by the Department of State Services (DSS). His lawyers have also alleged that he is being denied medical assistance “for ongoing health conditions”.
Concerns have repeatedly been raised by Bindmans with the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), and by Kanu’s lawyers in Nigeria with the authorities and courts there.
According to Bindmans, to date, the UK’s diplomatic efforts have had very little effect as “UK officials have only been able to visit Kanu once whilst in detention; his conditions of detention have not changed since that visit and no other progress has been made in assisting him”.
Shirin Marker, Solicitor at Bindmans LLP who is representing Kanu’s family said:
“The British government has a firm and explicit policy on condemning and seeking to end torture and mistreatment. That policy sets out a range of actions open to the UK authorities when an individual with British nationality is subject to torture abroad. There is no dispute that Mr Kanu is being tortured.
“It is essential, therefore, that the FCDO steps up its efforts to assist him and stop his torture imminently.
“To do otherwise would be inconsistent with the UK’s obligations under international law and the principles of its policy.
“We have made detailed representations to the FCDO on its legal obligations through its lawyers, and expect a prompt response on what action will now be taken.”