A court of appeal in the UK has granted leave to the family of Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), to challenge a judgment regarding his extraordinary rendition.
Kanu has been detained since 19 June 2021, when he was returned from Kenya.
Then, Kanu’s sibling, Kingsley, challenged the UK ministers’ handling of the separatist leader’s case by filing a lawsuit.
Kingsley asserted that three foreign secretaries, Liz Truss, Dominic Raab, and James Cleverly, had violated the law by neglecting to reach a conclusion regarding whether or not his brother had been subjected to extraordinary rendition.
He claimed that efforts to secure the release of the IPOB leader, who has been detained since June 2021 in “appalling conditions and without access to medical treatment for a heart condition,” had been “frustrated by the UK’s refusal to take a stand” despite UN and Nigerian court rulings.
Jonathan Swift, the presiding judge in the case, ruled in March that the minister had the authority to determine what was in the UK’s diplomatic interests.
“While the secretary of state has declined the claimant’s request to state a “unequivocal view” either privately or publicly, this does no more than reflect the secretary of state’s opinion on how best to conduct his affairs with the Nigerian authorities, to secure the greatest chance of providing practical assistance to Mr Kanu,” the judge held.
Kingsley then filed a motion seeking permission to appeal the lower court’s decision.
Aloy Ejimakor, Kanu’s special counsel, issued a statement on Wednesday stating that a senior British court of appeal judge granted the application on May 8.
“The grounds of appeal raise important issues concerning the scope of the obligations on the respondent in relation to requests for consular assistance in respect of British nationals detained abroad and the proper interpretation and application of the decision of the Court of Appeal in R(Abassi) v Secretary of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office  UKHRR 76,” the judge was quoted to have said.
“For those reasons, there is a compelling reason for the appeal to be heard, within the meaning of CPR 52.6(1)(b). Permission is granted for all three justifications”
The judge also fixed June 22 for the hearing.