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Monday 5 February 2024

Extraordinary Rendition: Why The Case Of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu Is Different

Extraordinary Rendition: Why The Case Of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu Is Different



Mazi Nnamdi Kanu

For reference purpose, Extraordinary rendition involves the extrajudicial transfer of a person from one country to another, often without due legal extradition process. While governments who have engaged in the international crime argues that it is a crucial tool in combating terrorism, critics contends that it violates fundamental human rights and undermines the principles of justice.


One of the key issues bedeviling the act extraordinary rendition is the lack of due process. Individuals subjected to this draconian process, are totally denied the opportunity to defend themselves in a court of law before been rendered, leading to a glaring absence of justice.


On this note the following questions has to be carefully considered; Can a government fairly try an individual they have extraordinarily rendition, in their court without violating the very principles of justice they claim they intend to uphold?  Does their legal system or constitution legitimize and condones the rendition crime, and are they not under International treaties and binding signatories that abhors the rendition crime?


The United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment explicitly prohibits the transfer of individuals to countries where they may face torture. Extraordinary rendition invariably places its victims precisely in such precarious situations, infringing upon their basic human rights and dispelling the tenacious authority of international law that protects these rights. The case of Mazi Kanu falls squarely under the above description as he is being subjected to severe physical, psychological and mental torture in the Nigerian Department Of States Service (DSS) solitary confinement cell in Abuja.



Nnamdi Kanu's case in the extraordinary rendition context is not only delicate but unique. The leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), movement was kidnapped, tortured for eight days in Kenya before being extraordinarily rendition to Nigeria, under trumped up terrorism charges - which overtime has been ultimately quashed by various competent court of jurisdiction in Nigeria -  stating that his methods of political activism which are peaceful demonstration and civil disobedience are totally legal, and are in no violation of either the Nigerian constitution or International law.


Thus, the ill-conceived act of rendition committed by the Nigerian government against the IPOB Leader, raising serious concerns about its obligation to due process, transparency, and adherence to international legal standards and biddings.



Evaluating this is crucial in understanding the responsibility and legitimacy of the successive Nigeria governments especially with its flagrant disregard for its own court resolutions, such as the decision of the Appeal court on 13th October,2022 - which ordered the discharge and acquittal of Mazi Kanu and further barring his trial in any Nigeria court, on the premises of the extraordinary means through which he was brought to stand trial in Nigeria.


Furthermore, it is becoming evident that Nigeria's legal system is rather ill-equipped to handle the case of Mazi Kanu, or has little or nothing to do in ensuring that the informed decisions of competent court of jurisdiction, are executed to the letter. Thus, the need for diversification is required in resolving the disagreements between the two parties - IPOB and the Nigerian government. And, it is totally in the place of the IPOB movement which he Kanu - is at the helm, to determine which means or strategy is suitable to confront the Nigerian government with.



The practice of extraordinary rendition presents a formidable challenge to the principles of justice and human rights as far as International law is concerned. The case of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu serves as a viable lens through which, one can see in its entirety, the commitment of the Nigerian state to legal norms and international standards. And in this context, states who do not respect either its own laws nor its International obligations falls under the global description of a pariah state.



Written By Chima O. Biafra


Edited By Enenienwite Ikechukwu


For Family Writers Press International

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