2nd July, 2021
Kenya’s interior ministry said it was unaware that Nnamdi Kanu, the IPOB leader was arrested in the country as Nigerian government also refused to confirm reports linking Kenya.
Reuters said a spokeswoman for the Kenyan interior ministry said it was not aware of the matter.
Although the country’s foreign affairs ministry in Nairobi snubbed media enquiries, Kenya’s The Star newspaper has further shed light on Kanu’s arrest in the country.
According to the paper, Kanu had apparently arrived in Kenya when he was stopped at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport on June 26.
“He was handed over to Nigeria the following day.
“He was headed for his house in Kileleshwa when authorities stopped him for questioning. He was settled in Nairobi but was coming from Germany via Israel.
“We will hold Kenyan and Nigerian government responsible for whatever may happen to my brother. We don’t know why they did this to him. It is an incident of extraordinary rendition,” said Kingsley Kanu.
Other officials said they knew Kanu was to stay in Nairobi for sometime when he was detained over an immigration issue.
“He had arrived in Kenya using a British passport ,” said the senior security official who asked not to be named.
He was later flown to Nigeria the following day. This was after the Nigerian officials in Nairobi confirmed he was wanted back home.
On Thursday, Information minister Lai Mohammed declined to disclose any details on the re-arrest of Kanu, despite the varied speculation over which country was involved in his capture, after he went on the run four years ago.
Kanu had skipped bail and disappeared while facing trial in 2017.
He was believed to be living in London until he was brought to court in handcuffs in Abuja on Tuesday.
“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,” Information Minister Lai Mohammed told reporters.
“We continue to respect and honour the obligations,” he said, giving no further details.
The circumstances of Kanu’s arrest have been the subject of intense media speculation in Nigeria, where reports have named the United Kingdom, Brazil, the Czech Republic and Israel as countries where Kanu may have been in recent times.
The UK said Kanu was not arrested in the country and added it would take up his matter with the authorities. Kanu is also a UK citizen.
IPOB said Kanu was “abducted” and it would give details later.
Lai Mohammed said Kanu was facing 11 counts including treason, terrorism and illegal possession of firearms.
His case is due to resume in court on July 26-27.