A legislator in the United States is advocating for the release of Nnamdi Kanu

Jarvis Johnson, a Democratic representative in the Texas House of Representatives, has urged the Supreme Court to mandate the unconditional release of Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

The Supreme Court is set to deliver judgments on two separate appeals filed by Kanu and the federal government.

Kanu, currently held by the Department of State Services (DSS) since his extradition from Kenya on June 19, 2021, is seeking his release.

In a statement, Johnson expressed, “The prevailing legal consensus, both within and outside Nigeria, anticipates the Supreme Court’s affirmation of the numerous judgments and orders surrounding this case.”

Presenting the undisputed facts, the US lawmaker stated, “MNK was extraordinarily rendered by the Government of Nigeria (GON) from Kenya on June 27, 2021.” Kanu, then and now, leads the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), a non-violent group advocating for an internationally supervised referendum to address the Biafran issue within the Nigerian polity.

Johnson highlighted a recent ruling by the High Court of Enugu State on October 30, 2023, which declared the classification of IPOB as a terrorist group by the GON and the Southeast Governor’s Forum as contrary to Section 42 of the Nigerian constitution.

He pointed out that various Nigerian courts, including the High Court in Umuahia, Abia State, and the Court of Appeals in Abuja, had previously reached similar conclusions, ordering the immediate and unconditional release of MNK. Emphasizing that there are no pending legal matters against MNK, Johnson underscored the UN Human Rights Council’s opinion on July 20, 2022, declaring MNK’s solitary confinement as a violation of International Human Rights Conventions.

Calling for the Nigerian Supreme Court to uphold the judgments of its subordinate courts and international tribunals, Johnson concluded by stating that such a ruling would contribute to restoring confidence in the Nigerian judiciary, with the Supreme Court being its apex institution.