Inside the shocking airport “kidnapping” of top rebel leaders


Marcolongari via Getty Images / AFP

Marcolongari via Getty Images / AFP

Abuja, Nigeria — Witnesses of shocking mass kidnapping Nigeria British citizen Namdi Kanu, head of the Biafra Indigenous (IPOB) group, told The Daily Beast that a separatist leader had left the car. airport A group of heavily armed men Forced seizure He arranges a transfer to Nigeria.

In June, Kanu, who was charged with treason in Nigeria, drove into the underground parking lot at Jomo Kenyatta Airport. Kenya The capital of Nairobi. According to airport officials who witnessed the incident, he was barely out of the two-door Audi TT when a man with seven guns hurriedly dragged him into a waiting car.

“Their purpose was to catch him,” the airport staff told The Daily Beast. “They didn’t ask him any questions. They just grabbed him.”

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When Kanu shouted for help, many in the parking lot approached the scene and asked the armed men why they were taking Nigerians, bystanders said. Men were then alleged to have responded by saying that Kanu was a terrorist working in Somali jihadist group al-Shabaab, after which they pushed him into the car and ran away.

“Not all of them looked Kenyan, and the people who spoke did not have a Kenyan accent,” said an airport official. “I’m not entirely sure they came from one of Kenyan security agencies.”

Part of the description of the case supports Kanu’s special counsel, Alloy Ejimakor, explaining how his client was arrested. Ejimakor, who heard directly from Kanu about how he was seized in Nairobi, Told the BBC His client was “grabbed” “in a very physical and rough way” by a group of “armed” men at Jomo Kenyatta Airport. According to Ejimakor, the man took him to his private residence, where he was “chained to the floor” and “tortured” for eight days before being blindfolded and on June 27 in a private jet to the capital of Nigeria. I was blown away by Abuja. Go through Kenyan passport management.

“People who kidnapped him said Kanu was told by the sponsor that he was an Islamic terrorist in Kenya, probably a Nigerian terrorist associated with al-Shabaab,” Ejimakor said. Said Premium Times, Nigerian newspaper. “But a few days after they discovered his identity, they tended not to treat him so badly. Nevertheless, they were committed to handing him over to the people who hired them. I told him I felt. “

The Nigerian government refused to provide details on how Kanu was arrested. When Attorney General Aboubakr Malami first announced his arrest and detention on June 29, he said separatist leaders were “intercepted by the collaborative efforts of Nigerian intelligence and security agencies.” rice field. This is made possible by the diligent efforts of our security and intelligence agencies, in cooperation with the countries in which we are obliged. “

Silence by Nigerian authorities about how British citizen Kanu was arrested emphasizes speculation that the armed men who captured him in Nairobi were mercenaries hired by the Nigerian government. There seems to be. Denied involvement in Kanu’s arrest and delivery..Britain becomes a country in West Africa Explain how the IPOB leader was detained..

“If the due process had been taken for Kanu’s arrest and delivery, the Kenyan government would have been happy to announce it,” a senior Nigerian military official told The Daily Beast personally. “There is something suspicious about this.”

Indeed, Kenya never avoided revealing details about deportation. The March 5 deportation of Isaac Sturgeon, an American citizen who fled to Kenya after participating in a riot at the US Capitol on January 6, was immediately confirmed by Kenyan authorities. After national immigration and police He was informed that he was in Nairobi. The butterfly shark, accused of picking up a metal barricade at the Capitol and using it to drive out police officers guarding the building, was arrested by the FBI as soon as it arrived at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City the next day. it was done. ..

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“As for Kanu, this seems to have been a job done by mercenaries. [hired by the Nigerian government]”The military officer said. “It explains why the government refuses to provide details of his arrest and delivery.”

In recent years, Kanu has become a thorn on the government side, using social media to insist on Biafra independence and constantly cursing Buhari from the northern region of Nigeria, primarily Islamic. The Igbo people who make up the southeastern part.

In fact, it was in response to the upset of the pro-Biafra separatists that threatened Buhari. “Trade” with people in the southeast In a social media post over a month ago, he wrote: [referring to IPOB supporters] Today’s cheating is too young to notice the destruction and loss of life that occurred during the Nigerian Civil War. Our people in the field for 30 months who have experienced war treat them in a language they can understand. “

Posts that Buhari shared on both Facebook and Twitter accounts have been deleted by social media companies because they violated their abuse policy.In response, the Nigerian government Twitter banned in Japan Information Minister Lai Mohammed said, “Permanent use of the platform for activities that could undermine the existence of Nigerian companies.”

Mohammed later hinted The lack of Twitter action on Kanu’s tweets contributed to the ban.

Kanu, who spent much of his adult life in the UK, First arrested in Lagos in 2015 Among other cases, 11 prosecutions for terrorism, illegal social control, treason and illegal possession of firearms.He was imprisoned for over a year Despite many court orders deciding his release.. IPOB reader finally Released on bail in 2017 However, he fled abroad, which continued to insist on the separation of the southeastern region of Nigeria. In 1967, a previous attempt to withdraw in the name of the Republic of Biafra caused a three-year civil war, killing nearly three million people.

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Biafra, who represents the nationalist aspirations of the Igbo ethnic group, reunited with Nigeria after the end of the war in 1970, but widespread anger by the Igbos who felt estranged by successive Nigerian governments It led to the creation of IPOB in 2014. Its sole purpose is to revive the Republic of Biafra.

However, while the government is committed to ensuring that Kanu, who is at the forefront of the Biafra independence movement, is tried and convicted in court, his lawyer says he is a victim of “abduction.” I believe there is no reason to answer.

“Kanu’s trial is to be opposed.” Ejima Call tweeted.. “If any trial occurs, it is the people who represent him.”

For more information, see The Daily Beast.

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