The member representing District 139 in the Texas House of Representatives, Jarvis Johnson, has asked the Nigerian government to immediately and unconditionally release the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu from detention.
Kanu has been in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS) since June 2021 when he was re-arrested in Kenya and returned to Nigeria by the Nigerian government for continued trial on treasonable felony and terrorism charges pressed against him by the government.
On October 13, 2022, a three-man panel of Court of Appeal judges in their unanimous decision ruled that Kanu’s rendition from Kenya was illegal.
The court also discharged and acquitted Kanu of all the charges and ordered his immediate and unconditional release from detention.
Also, the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council Working Group in its report on July 20, 2022, described the IPOB leader’s extraordinary rendition from Kenya in June 2021 as an “illegal, unlawful, unconstitutional extradition”.
It also called for his immediate release and compensation by the Nigerian and Kenyan governments for the way he was treated.
In the document, the body also indicted both Nigeria and Kenya for Kanu’s abduction and rendition.
Despite the call by the UN Working Group and court judgement, the Nigerian government has failed to release the IPOB leader.
In a statement released on Monday, Jarvis Johnson accused the Muhammadu Buhari-led government of engaging in genocide and crimes against Biafrans.
He called on the Joe Biden-led United States government to compel the Nigerian government to immediately release the “foremost freedom fighter”.
The statement read, “Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, is the foremost Freedom Fighter for the rights of oppressed people in Nigeria. For over 19 months, after he was kidnapped in Kenya, tortured, and illegally taken to Nigeria, he has been in solitary confinement. In July 2022, a United Nations Working Group, after its deliberations on his matter, called for his unconditional release.
“The Nigerian Government has not complied. On October 22, several Nigerian trial and appeals courts, acquitted and discharged him of all the bogus charges levied against him by the Nigerian government. The Nigerian government has refused to obey the orders of its own courts, and Mazi Nnamdi Kanu remains in solitary confinement enforced by its Secret Police.
“Mazi Kanu’s health conditions have been ignored by Nigeria’s Secret Police. He has been denied access to his doctors and to the regular supply of his medications. His health has increasingly deteriorated, and it is now feared that he may die in solitary confinement.
“Mazi Kanu’s only offence is that he is the leading advocate for the freedom of all oppressed Nigerians, and for a referendum on the Biafran issue. The right of free speech including political advocacy is a cornerstone of all democracies. At a time when democracy is threatened globally, it is imperative that we all join hands to protect Mazi Kanu’s right of freedom of speech. The illegal kidnapping, torture, and solitary confinement of Mazi Kanu offends our democratic norms. So does the willful disobedience of the judgments of its own courts by the Nigerian government.
“I am demanding for the immediate release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu. The government of Nigeria needs to comply with the UN Mandate and the Orders of its own Courts. The Nigerian government is carrying out another form of genocide, one citizen at a time. I am calling on the American government to get involved to stop this genocide. We have protected other countries around this world to help vulnerable populations; we need to do the same for Nigeria and its Biafran citizens.”