The lead and special counsels to detained pro-Biafra agitator and leader of the Indigenous People Of Biafra (IPOB), Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, have raised the alarm on the safety and health condition of their client.
The duo of Barrister Ifeanyi Ejiofor and Bar Aloy Ejimakor lead and special counsel respectively to Kanu, in a statement they both signed and made available online expressed serious concern about Kanu’s safety in DSS custody.
“Our client, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, has instructed us to make the following information public.
“That despite a court order to the contrary, the condition of his detention at the DSS headquarters in Abuja continues to be harsh, degrading and inhumane.
“That he is solitarily confined to a very tiny cell twenty-three (23) hours of the day without access to sunlight and any social interactions whatsoever. He believes that this is aimed at inflicting extreme emotional and mental distress on him and breaking him psychologically.
“That any detainee who encounters and greets him during the single hour he is allowed outside his cell is promptly put in solitary confinement or transferred to maximum security as a punishment for exchanging mere greetings with him. Because of this, detainees have resorted to avoiding him and exchanging salutations with him, not to talk of any other form of social interactions.”
The lawyers disclosed further: “That since the Nigerian government extraordinarily renditioned him, he has not been allowed a change of clothing; and his Jewish prayer shawls and other religious materials brought to him by his counsel were rejected and returned.
“That the DSS has refused to replace his corrective glasses (lenses) which were smashed to smithereens by agents of the Nigerian government in the process of the violence they unleashed on him while abducting him in Kenya. This has led to a rapid deterioration of his sight.
“That he is restricted to meeting with his counsel in an atmosphere devoid of private discussions with his counsel; and he is oftentimes denied perusal of legal documentation his counsel brings to him to review.”
The statement added: “That he is not allowed to sleep with a pillow and this has led to him developing acid reflux which comes with acute burning sensations in his chest, chest pains and extreme difficulty in swallowing.
“That on the 17th July 2021, one of his lawyers, the undersigned Barrister Aloy Ejimakor, was detained and interrogated for hours by the DSS when he came to the DSS on visitation to Mazi Nnamdi Kanu. Mazi Kanu, who witnessed the detention before being led away was very distressed and alarmed by this incident and he considers it a brazen act of intimidation of his counsel.”
The lawyers also alleged that he had, to date, been denied access to the British consul despite her repeated requests to see him; and on the day of his last court appearance, 10th November 2021, the British consul who was in court to observe the proceedings was intimidated by DSS officers, who restricted her from coming close to Mazi Kanu.
They pointed out that, to date, the DSS had denied Kanu’s repeated requests for “an independent medical examination to determine the extent of damage done to his body by a suspected substance he may have been injected with during this abduction and extraordinary rendition.
“He has reason to believe that the said injected substance is depleting the potassium content of his body, thus causing him constipation, a feeling of skipped heartbeats, palpitations, fatigue, muscle weakness/spasms and numbness.”
Kanu’s counsels, therefore, contended in submission “that in the circumstance of the forgoing, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu continues to have a persistent and heightened feeling of portent threat to his overall well-being and safety within the DSS facility where he is currently detained.”
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