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Saturday 23 September 2023

Urgent Appeal Regarding Human Rights Violations in Nigeria, Particularly the Unlawful Detention of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu

 The Secretary-General 

United Nations Headquarters 

New York, NY 10017 

United States of America

Your Excellency,

Urgent Appeal Regarding Human Rights Violations in Nigeria, Particularly the Unlawful Detention of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu

My name is Obulose Chidiebere, A Biafran and a Writer for Family Writers Press International(FWPI). 

It is with a heavy heart that I write to you today, seeking your immediate attention and intervention in a matter of grave concern: the continued and unlawful detention of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu by the Nigerian government. And, I do eagerly hope that this letter finds you well amidst the ongoing United Nations summit, where world leaders have gathered to discuss global issues and reaffirm their commitment to the principles of justice, human rights, and the rule of law.

Nigeria as a member state of the United Nations, have a solemn obligation to uphold the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. These international agreements enshrined the fundamental principles of human rights and the protection of individuals from arbitrary arrest, detention, and unfair trials.

Nonetheless, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra(IPOB) who has been a symbol of the struggle for self-determination and the rights of the Biafran people in present south-eastern Nigeria, as stipulated in the UN covenants, was kidnapped in Kenya by Nigerian Secret Police, extraordinarily rendition to Nigeria, and has been unlawfully detained for over two(2) years, against the ruling of Nigerian Appellate Court and the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention who declared the IPOB leader discharged and acquitted and guiltless, respective. Kanu's journey through the Nigerian legal system has been marred by serious violations of his human rights, and it is essential that the United Nations addresses this matter urgently.

Nnamdi Kanu the leader of Indigenous People of Biafra  

The IPOB leader was first arrested in October 2015 by the Nigerian government and held in detention for over a year without trial. His arrest was followed by accusations of treasonable felony and other charges. Despite these charges, Mr. Kanu was granted bail by the Federal High Court of Nigeria in April 2017. In September 2017, his home was raided by the Nigerian military, and he was declared missing for over a year. During this invasive raid, over 28 persons were killed in his country home at Umuahia, Biafraland by Nigerian soldiers. And the circumstances led to his disappearance raising concerns about his safety and the rule of law in Nigeria.

In June 2021, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu was arrested again in a criminal manner, better called Kidnap. He was charged with several offenses, including terrorism-related charges. However, on October 13. 2021, a Nigerian Appellate court ruled in favor of Mr. Kanu's release and acquitted him of all charges, citing lack of evidence and the manner which he was extradited without extradition proceedings.

Despite the court's verdict, Mr. Kanu has remained in detention in Nigeria. His continued detention is not only a violation of the court's decision but also a blatant disregard for international human rights standards and principles.

The unlawful detention of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu is a clear violation of his fundamental human rights. It raises serious concerns about the independence of the Nigerian judiciary, the rule of law, and the government's commitment to upholding international human rights standards. The Nigerian government's failure to release Mr. Kanu after his discharge and acquittal represents a flagrant violation of his right to liberty and security of person, as guaranteed by Article 9 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Moreover, the conditions of Mr. Kanu's detention have been a subject of concern. Reports of inhumane treatment and denial of access to adequate medical care have surfaced, further emphasizing the need for immediate intervention.

The United Nations, through her various bodies and resolutions, have consistently emphasized the importance of respecting human rights, the rule of law, and the independence of the judiciary. The UN have also expressed concerns about the arbitrary detention of individuals and called for their release in line with international standards.

We urge the United Nations to reaffirm these principles and take urgent action to address the ongoing human rights violations in Nigeria, particularly the unlawful detention of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.

For the sake of justice, the United Nations must:

1. Request that international human rights organizations and observers be granted access to visit Mr. Kanu in detention to ensure his well-being and proper treatment.

2. Call for the immediate and unconditional release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu in accordance with the court rulings and international human rights standards.

3 Condemn any actions by the Nigerian government that violates the principles of the rule of law and respect for human rights.

4. Engage in diplomatic efforts to encourage the Nigerian government to adhere to its international obligations and respect the rights of its citizens.

5. Advocate for the establishment of an independent inquiry to investigate the circumstances surrounding Mr. Kanu's detention and the violations of his rights.

The United Nations has played a vital role in promoting and protecting human rights around the world. In the spirit of the ongoing UN summit, where global leaders convene to address critical issues, we implore you to take immediate and decisive action to address the ongoing human rights violations in Nigeria. The case of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu represents not only a violation of an individual's rights but also a litmus test for the international community's commitment to justice, human rights, and the rule of law. We believe that the United Nations can make a difference by holding Nigeria accountable for its actions and ensuring that justice prevails.

We eagerly await your response and hope that the United Nations will stand as a beacon of hope and justice for those whose rights have been unjustly violated.


Obulose Chidiebere

Writer, For Family Writers Press International.

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