For Nigeria, National Security Once Again Trumps the Rule of Law

For Nigeria, National Security Once Again Trumps the Rule of Law
Biafran separatist leader Nnamdi Kanu attends a court hearing at the Federal High Court in Abuja, Nigeria, Jan. 29, 2016 (AP photo).

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Last month, news emerged that Nnamdi Kanu had been arrested and repatriated to Nigeria to face charges of terrorism and unlawful possession of firearms, among other alleged offenses related to his role as the leader of the separatist group Indigenous People of Biafra, or IPOB. Kanu was first detained by Nigerian security forces back in 2015, but was released on bail two years later. His whereabouts had remained unknown since a raid by security forces on his home in 2017. According to Nigeria’s attorney general, Kanu was arrested this time with the help of Interpol, reportedly in Kenya at the behest of the Nigerian government, although the Kenyan government strenuously denies any involvement.

Roughly a month after Kanu’s second arrest and return to Nigeria, reports emerged that Sunday Adeyemo, an advocate for the creation of an independent Yoruba republic who is popularly known as Sunday Igboho, was arrested at an airport in neighboring Benin. Adeyemo was detained while trying to travel to Germany, again reportedly at Nigeria’s request. He was declared wanted by Nigeria’s secret police after being accused of harboring plans to wage a violent insurrection against the Nigerian state.  

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