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UN decision on Nnamdi Kanu’s unconditional release binding on Nigeria, says Ejimakor

Special Counsel to Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Mr. Aloy Ejimakor, has stated that the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention is a quasi-judicial body that has a subsisting legal mandate of the United Nations to consider and adjudicate human rights petitions against member nations of the UN.

Ejimakor, who spoke to The Guardian, yesterday, in Umuahia, Abia State capital, suggested that the UN’s quasi-judicial body’s rulings or decisions (diplomatically called opinions), as was recently issued in favour of Kanu, are legally binding on Nigeria on a myriad of grounds.

He said that these grounds include, “the fact that the decision is based on the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, both of which Nigeria ratified several decades ago.”

He said that ratification is a means by which a nation makes itself subject to international laws and treaties, adding that by the provisions of Section 12 of the 1999 Constitution and a plethora of decisions by the Supreme Court of Nigeria, ratification makes Nigeria subject to whatever it ratified.

Ejimakor clarified that the UN Working Group is an integral arm of the United Nations Human Rights Council, which has the broader UN mandate to determine human rights issues emanating from member nations of the UN.

According to him, it goes without saying therefore that, as a member of the United Nations, Nigeria is subject to decisions emanating from these UN bodies and recalled that the UN body recently considered Kanu’s matter and held that “the removal of Mr Kanu from Kenya amounted to extraordinary rendition.”

“Kanu’s arrest and transfer to Nigeria lacked a legal basis and due process of law, in violation of article 9 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and article 9 of the Covenant.

“The appropriate remedy would be for the government of Nigeria to release Mr. Kanu immediately and accord him an enforceable right to compensation in accordance with international law.

“Unarguably, failing to implement this decision would mean that Nigeria is thumbing its nose at the United Nations and unwittingly triggering a nasty diplomatic conflict that could make it a pariah State,” Ejimakor quoted the UN body, adding that Nigeria is duty-bound to implement the decision in its letters and spirit.

According to him, the country is expected to do so promptly and to, within six months, file a formal report of its implementation with the United Nations.


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