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Lawmaker who is a lawmaker of United States of America (USA) in the House of Representatives from the State of Texas, District 139, Jarvis Johnson, has appealed to Nigeria’s Supreme Court to order the unconditional release of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, from his long detention.
His call came in addition to the one Kanu’s international counsel and spokesman, Bruce Fein, made to the Supreme Court Justices in an open letter, dated 2nd December, 2023.
Johnson, in a statement, which was made available to The Eastern Updates, on Thursday by Kanu’s special counsel, Aloy Ejimakor, stated that the Supreme Court will on December 15, 2023, decide whether or not to affirm the multiple unchallenged judgments/orders from various legal jurisdictions, which have called for the unconditional release of Kanu.
The US lawmaker, who also stated that the consensus of legal opinion, within and outside Nigeria, expects the Supreme Court to affirm this plethora of judgments and orders, listed undisputed facts, thus: ‘that Kanu was extraordinarily rendition by the Federal Government from Kenya on 27th of June, 2021.
‘Then and now, he is the leader of IPOB, a nonviolent group, advocating for an internationally supervised referendum to resolve the Biafran issue within the Nigeria polity.
‘Recently, on October 30, 2023, the High Court of Enugu State held that the classification of IPOB as a terrorist group by the Federal Government and the South East Governor’s Forum contravenes Section 42 of the Nigerian Constitution.
‘It follows that the present and future treatment of IPOB, its leadership and members, as a terrorist group is illegal and discriminatory. Therefore, there is now no valid legal basis for Kanu’s continued solitary confinement.’
According to Johnson, many other Nigerian courts, which had previously ruled on the matter, including the High Court in Umuhia, Abia State and the Court of Appeals in Abuja, had also reached similar conclusions, and have ordered for immediate and unconditional release of Kanu, stressing that there is no pending legal matter against him.
He also recalled that on July 20, 2022, the United Nations Human Rights Council issued an opinion, which found that Kanu’s solitary confinement was in violation of international human rights conventions to which Nigeria is a signatory, calling for his immediate and unconditional release.