Kenya is in the clear after the International Human Rights Commission (IHRC) absolved it from any wrongdoing in the re-arrest and repatriation of Nigerian separatist leader Nnamdi Kanu.
In a statement dated July 7 and signed by the commission’s Special Envoy for the Africa region, Mr Evans M. Mutavi, IHRC noted that Kenya did not play a part in the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra’s (IPOB) capture.
The commission also found that Kenya did not violate Kanu’s rights as was widely claimed.
“The IHRC is committed to safeguarding the rights of citizens across the globe in line with the organization’s core mandate,” said the agency.
The Geneva-based agency conducted an independent investigation after receiving 25 petitions on Kanu’s arrest, mostly from Nigerians.
Petitioners called for an inquiry into human rights violations and possible breaches of established international and regional diplomatic protocols.
“The commission, upon investigation, is unable to establish a case of human rights violation of Nnamdi Kanu in Kenya by the special police forces,” said IHRC.
“The commission is convinced that the Kenyan government played no official role in the events that led to Nnamdi Kanu’s arrest. The commission expects the Nigerian government to follow up the trial of Nnamdi Kanu in line with the country’s laws and respect to human rights.’’
A fortnight ago, Kenya High Commissioner to Nigeria Wilfred Machage termed as “unfortunate and libelous” the linking of President Uhuru Kenyatta to Kanu’s arrest.
Mr Machage said the allegations were concocted to pit Nigerians against Kenyans.
“Kenya was not involved in the alleged arrest in Kenya and extradition to Nigeria of Mr Kanu. These allegations are fictional, imaginary, and deliberately concocted to fuel antagonistic feelings among a certain section of the Nigerian people,” said the Kenyan envoy.
“I want to challenge anyone with facts relating to this alleged arrest in Kenya to present those facts. This includes when, where, how, and who was particularly involved in the alleged arrest.”
The Nigerian separatist was arrested in June after he jumped bail in 2017 and fled to Britain.
He was facing an 11 count charge bordering on terrorism, treasonable felony, managing an unlawful society, publication of defamatory matter, illegal possession of firearms and improper importation of goods, among others.