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Under What Circumstances Kenya Kidnapped and Deported British Citizen to Nigeria?

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In the purest interpretations of foreign relations law, as applied to Britain and Kenya, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu is technically speaking, still in Kenya. How? Dual national or not, Kanu departed Britain and travelled to Kenya as a British citizen and Kenya admitted him as such. That’s the starting point.

So, after his admission to Kenya, it happens that Kanu must be expelled from Kenyan soil (with or without due process), the next natural and legal thing to do is for Kenya to expel him to Britain, not Nigeria. Choosing to expel him to Nigeria means that he could’ve also been expelled to any other country than Nigeria.

Why? Because Kanu presented himself to Kenya as a British citizen, not a Nigerian citizen or even a dual citizen. In international law, it was clearly a three-way immigration contract between Kanu, Britain and Kenya. Nigeria was not a party to it; and Nigeria was never in reckoning at the Kenyan port of entry when Kanu presented himself for admission. Lawyers call it privity of contract.

Further, counting from the time of Kanu’s abduction to the infamous rendition, Kenya sighted no other travel document that could’ve, in addition to Britain, attributed another nationality to Kanu, including that of Nigeria. Or, was Kanu admitted to Kenya on a Nigerian birth certificate?

So, it’s dubious that Kenya attributed Nigerian citizenship to Kanu merely because those that sponsored the abduction and rendition presumably told Kenya that Kanu was borne in Nigeria. What about the credible claims (in public domain) that Kanu had renounced his Nigerian citizenship? If place of birth should count, then renunciation should count for more.

Put another way, unless Kenya was shown Kanu’s Nigerian birth certificate, it is expected to presume Kanu as a British citizen only. After all, beyond a birth certificate, a passport is the next best proof of citizenship. Verbal assertions of place of birth is, as a matter of immigration and nationality law, an insufficient proof of citizenship.

Nonetheless, if Kenya was in any doubt as to where Kanu should be expelled, it should have resorted to the competent international laws on point.

The most obvious of such laws is codified at Article 5 of the Hague Convention on Certain Questions Relating to the Conflict of Nationality Law, which states that: “Within a third State, a person having more than one nationality shall be treated as if he had only one. A third State shall, of the nationalities which any such person possesses, recognise exclusively in its territory either the nationality of the country in which he is habitually and principally resident, or the nationality of the country with which in the circumstances he appears to be in fact most closely connected”.

As can be seen from above, Kanu was required to meet one of two conditions in order to be treated by Kenya ‘exclusively’ as either a citizen of Nigeria or Britain. So, let’s put Kanu into what the Hague Convention says and see how he comes out.

Fact: Kanu is 53 years old. Out of this, he has spent some 30 years in Britain and 23 years in Nigeria. His wife and children are domiciled in Britain and they are British citizens, either by birth or naturalization. Kanu has his home in Britain and pays his taxes there.

Another fact: Kanu’s main occupations – Radio Biafra and IPOB – are corporate citizens of Britain in good standing, both having been duly registered in Britain. And Kanu runs both of them from British soil.

Conversely, the last time Kanu visited Nigeria, he was arbitrarily arrested, persecuted and detained for eighteen months. In time, he was nearly killed under circumstances that would be considered State-sponsored murder, which is a crime against humanity under the Rome Statute.

So, as you can easily see from above, Britain is where Kanu is ‘habitually and principally resident, as well as the country with which, in the circumstances, he appears to be in fact most closely connected’. If, like Kenya, you think Nigeria qualifies by a stretch, then you must be thinking that being in jail for nearly two years and surviving extrajudicial murder are good attributes of citizenship.

Thus, Kenya (being the third country) should have treated Kanu exclusively as a British citizen because, even as the Hague Convention required Kanu to meet one of two conditions, he actually over-qualified by meeting both conditions.

Therefore, as a strict matter of foreign relations law, as applied to Britain and Kenya (minus Nigeria), Kanu is technically still in Kenya. How? Because Kenya was the last country in which Kanu – a bonafide British citizen was lawfully admitted.

In other words, subsequent to his admission to Kenya, Kanu desired to depart from Kenya, the only country he could have legally departed to was Britain, not Nigeria. Why? Kenyan immigration would not have allowed Kanu to depart to Nigeria without him presenting either a Nigerian passport or a Nigerian visa.

In view of the foregoing, the next best steps for Britain to take, especially in the face of Nigeria’s intransigence, is to ask Kenya to account for the whereabouts of her citizen, Nnamdi Kanu, last seen in Kenya as of June 19th, 2021 as her Majesty’s subject and a free citizen of Britain, not a criminal suspect.

Once Britain sits up, Kenya – whether complicit or not – would begin to appreciate the true legal and diplomatic implications of failing to protect a bonafide British citizen who made his last lawful immigration stop on Kenyan soil. And Nigeria too will begin to realize that Kanu’s presence in Nigeria is unlawful and unsustainable.

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Africa

Money seized from Equatorial Guinea VP Goes into Vaccine

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As a classic precedence, the Justice Department of the United States has decided that $26.6m (£20m) seized from Equatorial Guinea’s Vice-President Teodorin Nguema Obiang Mangue be used on purchasing COVID-19 vaccines and other essential medical programmes in Equitorial Guinea, located on the west coast of central Africa.

“Wherever possible, kleptocrats will not be allowed to retain the benefits of corruption,” an official said in a statement, and reported by British Broadcasting Corporation.

Obiang was forced to sell a mansion in Malibu, California, a Ferrari and various Michael Jackson memorabilia as part of a settlement he reached with the US authorities in 2014 after being accused of corruption and money-laundering. He denied the charges.

The agreement stated that $10.3m of the money from the sale would be forfeited to the US and the rest would be distributed to a charity or other organisation for the benefit of the people of Equatorial Guinea, the Justice Department said.

The UN is to receive $19.25m to purchase and administer COVID-19 vaccines to at least 600,000 people in Equatorial Guinea, while a US-based charity is to get $6.35m for other medical programmes in Equatorial Guinea.

Teodorin Nguema has been working in position as Vice-President since 2012, before that he held numerous government positions, including Minister of Agriculture and Forestry. Known for his unquestionable lavish lifestyle, he has been the subject of a number of international criminal charges and sanctions for alleged embezzlement and corruption. He has a fleet of branded cars and a number of houses, and two houses alone in South Africa,

Teodorin Nguema has often drawn criticisms in the international media for lavish spending, while majority of the estimated 1.5 million population wallows in abject poverty. Subsistence farming predominates, with shabby infrastructure in the country. Equatorial Guinea consists of two parts, an insular and a mainland region. Equatorial Guinea is the third-largest oil producer in sub-Saharan Africa.

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African Union’s Inaction on Ethiopia Deplorable – Open Letter

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The crisis in northern Ethiopia has resulted in millions of people in need of emergency assistance and protection. © UNICEF/Christine Nesbitt

A group of African intellectuals says in an open letter that it is appalled and dismayed by the steadily deteriorating situation in Ethiopia. The letter, signed by 58 people, says the African Union’s lack of effective engagement in the crisis is deplorable. The letter calls on regional bloc IGAD and the AU to “proactively take up their mandates with respect to providing mediation for the protagonists to this conflict”.

The letter also asks for “all possible political support” for the AU’s Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa, Olusegun Obasanjo, whose appointment was announced on August 26, 2021. A United Nations Security Council meeting on the same day welcomed the former Nigerian president’s appointment.

Earlier in August 2021, UN  chief Antonio Guterres appealed for a ceasefire, unrestricted aid access and an Ethiopian-led political dialogue. He told the council these steps were essential to preserve Ethiopia’s unity and the stability of the region and to ease the humanitarian crisis. He said that he had been in close contact with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and had received a letter from the leader of the Tigray region in response to his appeal. “The UN is ready to work together with the African Union and other key partners to support such a dialogue,” he said.

August 26, 2021 was only the second time during the conflict that the council held a public meeting to discuss the situation. Britain, Estonia, France, Ireland, Norway and the United States requested the session.

Fighting between the national government and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front broke out in November 2020, leaving millions facing emergency or crisis levels of food insecurity, according to the United Nations. Both sides have been accused of atrocities.

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More African Countries Register Russia’s Sputnik Vaccine

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Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) is a specialized technical institution of the African Union (AU) that strengthens the capacity and capability of Africa’s public health institutions as well as partnerships to detect and respond quickly and effectively to disease threats and outbreaks, based on data-driven interventions and programmes.

During the outbreak of the coronavirus, the African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT), was established by African Union, as a component in support of the Africa Vaccine Strategy and was endorsed by the AU Bureau of Heads of State and Government on 20th of August 2020.

Dr John Nkengasong, Director of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), has emphasized: “Africa has to team up with development partners to achieve its 60% continent-wide vaccination in the next two years. I think that is why we should as a collective of the continent, and of course, in partnership with the developed world make sure that Africa has a timely access to vaccines to meet our vaccination targets.”

An official media release in February 2021, the Africa Vaccine Acquisition Task Team from the African Union (AU) informed that Russia would supply and deliver 300 million Sputnik V vaccines to Africa. That step was intended to support African countries to attain their targeted immunization of 60% of the population by the year-end. That vaccine story disappeared, but instead what become so common is the speedy registration of Sputnik V on bilateral basis in various African countries.

According to the latest, Nigeria has become the 68th country in the world to approve the Russian vaccine. The use of the Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine has been approved in Nigeria, the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) said in an official statement.

“The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF, Russia’s sovereign wealth fund) announces the approval of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine against coronavirus by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control of Nigeria (NAFDAC). Nigeria has become the 68th country in the world to approve the Russian vaccine. Total population of all countries, where Sputnik V is approved for use, now exceeds 3.7 billion people, which is nearly half of the global population,” the statement said.

“Nigeria is the most populous nation in Africa, and the approval of Sputnik V will provide for using one of the safest and most effective vaccines in the world. Sputnik V is based on a proven human adenoviral vectors platform and is successfully used in over 50 countries. Approval in Nigeria will make an important contribution to the country’s fight against the pandemic,” CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) Kirill Dmitriev said.

Besides Nigeria, other African countries have registered Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine. Reportedly, the vaccine has been registered in Algeria, Angola, Djibouti, Egypt, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Morocco, Namibia, Tunisia, the Republic of Congo (DRC) and Zimbabwe.

Russia’s drive to share Sputnik V vaccine, of course, offers a chance to raise its image and strengthen alliances in Africa. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation has made efforts promoting the vaccine using all its channels. But supply and delivery have largely lagged behind, the pledges have simply not been fulfilled. Russian authorities have oftentimes said that they would step up efforts for fruitful cooperation in combating coronavirus in Africa.

Promising more than can be delivered appears to be a universal problem with coronavirus vaccines, and it is a real risk for Russia as well, said Theresa Fallon, Director of the Brussels-based Centre for Russia Europe Asia Studies. “They have won the gold medal for creating this very effective vaccine,” she said. “But the problem is how are they going to implement production and delivery?”

Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), with profit motivation, has attempted supplying the Russian vaccines through, Sheikh Ahmed Dalmook Al Maktoum, from the Monarch family and a third party in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, to a number of African countries. For instance, the Republic of Ghana reportedly signed US$64.6 million contract for Sputnik V vaccine from Russia through Sheikh Ahmed Dalmook Al Maktoum. It was double the price from the producer as reported in the media.

On the other hand, Russian President Vladimir Putin has noted, in a speech early September, that advanced countries that produce vaccines against the coronavirus do little to protect humanity from the pandemic.

“The benefits of vaccination are enjoyed mostly by advanced economies. The bulk of the vaccines is made there, and it is used to protect their own population. But very little is being done to protect humanity in the broad sense,” Putin said at the plenary session of the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, the Far East of Russia. “This is very bad for the producers, because all this boomerangs around the globe. For instance, in Africa the level of protection with vaccines is minimal, but contacts with the African countries continue. There is no getting away from this. This infection will return again and again.”

According to an official release obtained late February, the Sputnik V vaccine the following advantages:

• Efficacy of Sputnik V is 91.6% as confirmed by the data published in the Lancet, one of the world’s oldest and most respected medical journals; It is one of only three vaccines in the world with efficacy of over 90%; Sputnik V provides full protection against severe cases of COVID-19. 

• The Sputnik V vaccine is based on a proven and well-studied platform of human adenoviral vectors, which cause the common cold and have been around for thousands of years. 

• Sputnik V uses two different vectors for the two shots in a course of vaccination, providing immunity with a longer duration than vaccines using the same delivery mechanism for both shots. 

• The safety, efficacy and lack of negative long-term effects of adenoviral vaccines have been proven by more than 250 clinical studies over two decades. 

• The developers of the Sputnik V vaccine are working collaboratively with AstraZeneca on a joint clinical trial to improve the efficacy of AstraZeneca vaccine. 

• There are no strong allergies caused by Sputnik V. 

• The price of Sputnik V is less than $10 per shot, making it affordable around the world. 

In February, peer-reviewed medical journal The Lancet published an analysis from Phase III clinical trial of the Russian vaccine, showing its 91.6-percent efficacy against symptomatic COVID-19. The Sputnik V vaccine was developed by the Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology.

Sputnik V was registered in Russia on August 11, 2020 as the world’s first officially registered coronavirus vaccine. Russian vaccines have advantages as no deaths have been reported after vaccination with the Sputnik V, Alexander Gintsburg, Director of the Gamaleya Center, the vaccine developer, said and was reported by TASS News Agency. “As of today, no deaths after vaccination with Sputnik V have been registered,” he said.

Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) is Russia’s sovereign wealth fund established in 2011 to make equity co-investments, primarily in Russia, alongside reputable international financial and strategic investors. RDIF acts as a catalyst for direct investment in the Russian economy. RDIF’s management is based in Moscow.

In Africa, during first of September, the coronavirus-related death toll has topped 196,190, while more than 6.9 million recoveries have been reported. South Africa accounts for a majority of coronavirus cases and deaths across Africa – 2,777,659 and 82,261 respectively. The death toll in Tunisia climbed to 23,451, and 664,034 cases have been confirmed. Egypt recorded 16,736 deaths and 288,441 coronavirus cases.

In Sub-Saharan Africa, Ethiopia is ranked second to South Africa (308,134 cases and 4,675 deaths) and is followed by Kenya (235,863 cases and 4,726 deaths) and Nigeria (191,805 and 2,455). The total number of COVID-19 cases has reached almost 8 million in Africa, according to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Regional Office for Africa.

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