Kanu and the Duplicity of the British Government


The role of the British Government so far in the Nnamdi Kanu saga leaves me wondering if the UK is truly a bastion of the Rule of Law as being promoted. The IPOB leader, whose Nigerian and British passports were impounded in 2016 by an Abuja court, as part of his bail condition, jumped bail and escaped to a neighbouri­ng country, where he was issued another passport by the British Government. He escaped to UK with this and to other countries until his re-arrest last month. Of course, the British Government knew Kanu was a fugitive running away from justice in Nigeria. UK’s new passport to Kanu shows disdain for the Nigerian court that impounded his passports.

Now, let’s juxtapose this with the British Government’s role in the Julian Assange case. This will help us understand the UK government’s duplicity. In 2002, Assange, Wikileaks co-founder, faced a case of extraditio­n to Sweden in a British court over a sexual assault allegation. He was granted bail by the court but he jumped bail fearing likely extraditio­n to the United States over another case. The US Government wants him extradited to face charges of massive leak of classified government data. So, he took refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in London in 2012.

The Ecuadorian government later withdrew Assange’s asylum and threw him out of its embassy in London in 2019. The British Government quickly grabbed him, took him back to court and was found guilty of jumping bail. Assange was sentenced to 50 weeks imprisonme­nt and has been held there ever since over the extraditio­n case to US.

The point I’m making here is that when Assange jumped bail granted by a British court, the British Government went after him with so much venom, got him and ensured he is returned to court and jailed for his action. But when Kanu jumped bail granted by a Nigeria court, Britain provided him a new passport to escape justice. UK deliberate­ly undermined the Nigerian court after a bench warrant was issued for Kanu’s arrest. The British Government should be ashamed.

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