- Kanu's wife accuses UK of evading responsibility in her husband detention
- UK authorities claim that they provided assistance to Kanu
The wife of detained pro-Biafra activist Nnamdi Kanu, Uchechi Okwu-Kanu, has blamed the British authorities for not helping her husband.
“evading responsibility” for ensuring her husband’s human rights are not violated.
The woman in the interview granted to the Newsweek said: “It is for the British government to get involved, to make sure that this person’s human rights are being respected and they haven’t done that. They’ve been to see my husband but that is not where it ends.”
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She claims that Kanu's human rights have been violated by the goovernment of President Muhammadu Buhari and security forces, who have kept him in detention despite the Federal High Court in Abuja ordering in December 2015 for the pro-Biafra activist to be granted bail.
“His human rights have been violated and international human rights bodies should be all over the place because he is also human.”
“From my perspective, they [the British government] are evading some responsibility. They should be doing more, they should visit him more… It’s obvious and apparent that the Nigerian government and the DSS are not obeying the law,” Okwu-Kanu stated.
Kanu's wife added that she last heard from her husband earlier in February and was given assurance that he was in good health. She said that the support of members of IPOB have helped her through Kanu’s absence.
“The fact that they’re all behind me has strengthened me. Knowing that people are behind my husband, it gives me strength every day. That’s probably the reason why I’m still alive, the fact that he is loved by the people,” she noted.
Meanwhile, a spokesman at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said that the UK fully supports Nigeria unity.
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He said: “The U.K. takes all accusations of human rights abuses seriously. We have provided assistance to Kanu since his arrest in October 2015, including visiting him regularly in prison and attending court appearances.
“In each of our visits to Kanu he has told us he is in good health and that he has access to both a doctor and his lawyer.”
Kanu is also a British citizen with dual nationality. He was arrested in Lagos by the Nigerian State Security Service in October 2015 on charges comprising criminal conspiracy and belonging to unlawful society. Since then, he has twice been given bail by Nigerian courts but remains in detention.
The Nigerian government filed fresh charges against him in December 2015 of treasonable felony accusing the IPOB leader of attempting to overthrow the Nigerian authorities.