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‘Nigerian government has the answers’ — Kenya denies involvement in Nnamdi Kanu’s arrest

Samuel Akpan

Wilfred Machage, Kenyan high commissioner to Nigeria, has denied the claim that Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), was arrested in Kenya.

Abubakar Malami, the attorney-general of the federation (AGF), had said the IPOB leader was “intercepted through the collaborative efforts of Nigerian intelligence and Security Services” — but he did not disclosed where Kanu was arrested.

However, Kingsley Kanu, brother of the separatist leader, alleged that his brother was apprehended in Kenya.

Speaking at a media briefing on Friday, the Kenyan high commissioner said the allegation was “concocted” to pitch Nigerians in the south-east against the Kenyan people.


“I want to address the allegation by denying that Kenya was involved in the alleged arrest in Kenya and extradition to Nigeria of Mr Kanu,” Machage said.

“The allegation is fictional, imaginary and deliberately concocted to fuel antagonistic feeling amongst the southern section of the Nigerian people against the Kenya people.

“Indeed many countries have been accused — Rwanda, Czech Republic, Britain, Ethiopia — and God knows which other countries.


“I want to challenge anyone with facts relating to this alleged arrest in Kenya to present this fact. This will include how and who was particularly involved in the alleged arrest.

“Nigeria is a sovereign country. It’s your country. Instead of facing the Kenyan high commission in Nigeria to ask some of these questions, you should face your government.

“The government of Nigeria knows how they arrested him. They have the answers, not me.”

TheCable had reported that Alexander Muteshi, Kenya director-general of Immigration Services, also dismissed the claim on Thursday.

Kanu was first arrested in Nigeria on October 14, 2015, following years of his campaign for the sovereign state of Biafra.

He was granted bail in April 2017 but fled the country after soldiers invaded his residence in Abia state during a military clampdown on IPOB members.

While on the run, the separatist leader piloted the affairs of IPOB from abroad.

Following his re-arrest, the federal government arraigned him before the federal high court in Abuja where a judge granted the Department of State Services (DSS) permission to keep him in its custody until July 26 when his trial will continue.

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