- Efforts to get information on how Mazi Nnamdi Kanu obtained another British passport to leave Nigeria in 2017 has hit a brick wall
- British authorities in Nigeria evaded an inquiry on the issue saying they need clearance from London
- There are allegations that Kanu obtained another British passport with the help of the country's high commission in Nigeria
FCT, Abuja - The British government has refused to accept or deny allegations that it assisted the leader of proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, with another passport after he jumped bail and fled Nigeria 2017.
ThisDay newspaper, in a series of email exchanges with the British High Commission in Abuja, had requested clarifications on how the IPOB leader obtained a fresh British passport.
The newspaper enquired:
“The information we have is that after escaping from Nigeria through the land borders, the British government assisted him in procuring another passport in the high commission of one of our neighbouring countries, knowing at the time he was a fugitive running away from justice in Nigeria.
“Do you categorically deny the British government's involvement in this?”
Waiting for clearance from London
In reaction, Dean Hurlock of the British High Commission wrote:
“We are seeking clarification about the circumstances of the arrest from the Nigerian government. Our policy on issuing passports to those who are entitled to them is clear and publicly available; we are not going to discuss any individual case.”
Kanu seeks consular assistance from Britain
In a related development, Premium Times newspaper reports that Kanu‘s lawyer has requested British government’s assistance for the separatist leader.
His lawyer, Aloy Ejimakor, in a letter to the British High Commissioner in Nigeria, Catriona Laing, requested that Kanu be granted every possible consular assistance to which he is entitled as a British citizen
The British High Commission had earlier reacted to the arrest of Kanu.
Dean Hurlock, a spokesperson of the British High Commission, said while they can confirm Kanu’s arrest, he was not picked up in the UK where he is based.
“We can confirm that Nnamdi Kanu was not arrested in the UK for extradition purposes.”
Meanwhile, elder statesman and Second Republic aviation minister, Mbazulike Amechi, has advised the federal government to give Kanu a fair hearing.
Amechi said Kanu should be assumed innocent until he is found guilty by a court of competent jurisdiction.
He also said the federal authorities should be cautious about the way they will handle Kanu, and the way they will handle his case.