The Kenya High Commissioner to Nigeria Wilfred Machage has dismissed claims that the East African country played a part in the arrest of Nigerian separatist leader Nnamdi Kanu.
Kanu’s family and the Coalition of Igbo-British lawyers issued separate statements claiming Kenyan authorities were actively involved in his arrest and deportation, further condemning what they termed as an unlawful act.
“The Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s family has learnt that he was unlawfully arrested in Kenya, detained and subsequently subjected to extraordinary rendition from Kenya to Nigeria where he is now detained,” Kanu’s brother Kingsley said on behalf of the family.
On Friday, however, the envoy challenged anyone with evidence linking Kenya to the arrest to produce it.
Ambassador Machage termed as “unfortunate and libelous” the linking of President Uhuru Kenyatta to Kanu’s arrest.
Mr Machage said the allegations were concocted to pit Nigerians against Kenyans.
“Kenya was not involved in the alleged arrest in Kenya and extradition to Nigeria of Mr Kanu. These allegations are fictional, imaginary, and deliberately concocted to fuel antagonistic feelings among a certain section of the Nigerian people,” said the Kenyan envoy.
“I want to challenge anyone with facts relating to this alleged arrest in Kenya to present those facts. This includes when, where, how, and who was particularly involved in the alleged arrest.”
Defending his country, the envoy said Kenya has no questions to answer on the matter. He advised Nigerians to approach their government to find out where Kanu was arrested.
Kanu was arrested in 2015 but fled the country in 2017 before the completion of his trial.
He was facing an 11 count charge bordering on terrorism, treasonable felony, managing an unlawful society, publication of defamatory matter, illegal possession of firearms and improper importation of goods, among others.
After jumping bail, Kanu fled to the United Kingdom.
The British Commission in Abuja was at a loss explaining how the separatist leader, a citizen of the UK, secured a passport yet his travel documents were deposited in court as a condition for his bail.
Jonathan Bacon of the British High Commission said, “We can confirm that the British High Commission in Nigeria did not issue any travel documents for Mr Kanu.”