Ifeanyi Ejiofor, counsel to Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), says the Department of State Services (DSS) prevented himself and Bruce Fein, IPOB’s lawyer in the US, from visiting the detained leader.
Kanu, who is facing charges of treason, is currently being held by the DSS after he was brought back to Nigeria to face trial.
In July, a federal high court in Abuja declined the request of the IPOB leader to be moved to Kuje Correctional Service Centre.
Binta Nyako, the judge, ruled that access to Kanu at the DSS should be regimented. “But it is not going to be all comers’ affair; it will be regimented. You can’t get up at night and say you want to visit your client,” the judge ruled.
However, Kanu’s lawyer, in a statement on Friday, said when the team went to the DSS office to visit their client on Thursday, they were told that the official assigned to receive them was on a “special assignment”.
Ejiofor said the DSS gave the excuse despite a formal notification of the visit, and described the development as a violation of the court order.
“Following the arrival of Mr. Bruce Fein, a foremost American trained constitutional law lawyer and IPOB’s attorney in the United States of America, the game obviously took an interesting twist,” the statement reads.
“Despite our formal notification to the Service, in line with the existing protocol, and in compliance with the court-ordered guideline, the officials of the Department of State Security Services came up with an excuse, “that the person assigned to receive us during yesterday’s visit was on A SPECIAL ASSIGNMENT”, and as such, the visit cannot be conducted.
“This is not only ridiculous but a clear violation of the Court Order on guideline for visiting our Client- Onyendu Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.
“For the records, we have been consistently visiting Our Client on the specified days and time of the week, and there hasn’t been any time we were denied access to him on the ground that an individual assigned to receive us was not available.
“Needless to mention, that no one individual has been specifically assigned to receive us on any of the visits. They are fully aware that the visit takes place every Monday and Thursday.
“Thankfully, we have another date for Monday, and we do hope that this individual will be available on Monday to receive us, whilst we have taken steps to formally bring this latest infraction to the attention of the court.”