*Photo: Kanu *
Maxwell Opara, lawyer to the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, has accused the Embassy of Kenya in Nigeria of denying him a visa to observe proceedings of a suit filed by his client against Kenyan Government.
It would be recalled that Mr Kanu had sued Kenyan government at Kenyan High Court for his “abduction and extra-ordinary rendition to Nigeria.”
The suit was filed on September 14, 2021 by Luchiri Associates, the IPOB leader’s legal team in Kenya.
Opara, who spoke to newsmen on Thursday, condemned the embassy’s action.
He said he applied for the visa on January 31, 2022, to observe the proceedings scheduled for February 15 but was denied just because he was one of Kanu’s lawyers.
“You will recall that the incident that happened in Kenya and in that incident, we have filed an action against Kenyan authorities and the Kenyan Airport where those that committed act of adoption; that is, extraordinary rendition, bringing Nnamdi Kanu back to this country.
“So, the matter has been going on and the matter was slated to come up on 15th of February.
“I applied for a visa to go to Kenya so as to watch briefs because we engaged a professor of law to handle our briefs since I don’t have a licence to practise there.
“But after I have gone through all the procedures for the visa application, the embassy continue to post me up and down.
“I submitted my papers and everything, they refused.
“So when I went to the embassy, an insider, who pleaded anonymity, said that they have an instruction not to allow any of the IPOB lawyers to go there, especially myself and some other prominent members of the legal team.
“I felt bad. I said this is a joke taken too far and we are thinking on the next line of action.
“The matter has come and gone. Though all our applications there were granted but at least, we needed somebody from Nigeria to watch what is going on there.
“So that was rather unfortunate and that is why we are still trying to let them see reasons for us to be there because the matter will still come up in few weeks’ time.
“It is good the world knows what is happening.
“And I don’t see the reason for this. So that is why I am confused,” he said.
Effort to get the reaction of the Kenyan Embassy was unsuccessful as calls made to the embassy’s 09095446757 were not answered. Also, the phone line of Mr Daniel, the embassy’s press relations officer, was unreachable.
Kanu, in the suit, had alleged that since he is a British citizen and entered Kenya with his British passport, he ought not to have been brought to Nigeria for any reason without valid court orders for his extradition, accusing Kenyan government of violating his fundamental human rights.