The Department of State Services (DSS), which is notorious for defying court orders, prohibited a team of legal practitioners led by Aloy Ejimakor, special counsel for the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, from meeting him on Thursday.
On Monday, July 26th, Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court in Abuja ordered the DSS to allow Kanu’s legal team and relatives to visit him in jail.
She did say, though, that such access would not be open to all, and that it would have to be controlled.
The judge also turned down the defense counsel’s request that Kanu be transferred to a detention facility, instead ordering him to remain in the custody of the DSS.
The legal team was denied access to the IPOB leader by Nigeria’s secret police, according to a statement acquired by SaharaReporters on Thursday.
He said, “For the umpteenth time, denied us access to our client today, insisting that our request would be looked into and accordingly approved by their DG before we could be granted access to him. On the 26th day of July 2021, His Lordship, Hon. Justice Nyako of Court No. 2 Federal High Court Abuja, after listening to our application, wherein I raised serious concerns about the safety and medical condition of Our client, whom ordinarily was supposed to be produced in court on that day, ordered that the Detention Authority (DSS) should allow us access to him.
“Upon our arrival in their office today being the 29th day of July, 2021, conspicuously armed with the Court Order under reference, the officials of the DSS, though admitted being aware of the said order, directed us to come up with a formal application stating the names of persons who are visiting, which request was promptly complied with.
“While we awaited to be admitted for the visit, the officials of the DSS unfortunately came back to inform us that we should go and await further communication from them pending the approval of our request.
“Attached for your ease of reference is a copy of the Court Order under reference. Details of the visit as worked out in His Lordship’s Chambers by counsel on both sides and Representative of State Security Services, collectively agreed upon by everyone, is not stated in the attached order, whose details are known to all parties on the modality of the visit.
“I am not suprised by the conduct of the DSS who has a history of disobedience to Court Orders, but I am worried because we do not know the present state of health of our client. I cannot categorically confirm to the world the present state of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, as at today.
“It is to be pointed out that our client is presently detained in DSS facility pursuant to an Order of Court, and another Order made by the same court directing our access to our Client on specified days, is unfortunately being flouted by the officials of the State Security Services, as they have no reason or justification of any kind to refuse us access.
“We will formally communicate the court first thing tomorrow morning on this unfortunate and strange development, and shall keep the world updated.
“Should anything untoward happen to our client, the Nigerian Government and the Department of State Services should be held responsible. Let the World and all responsible foreign governments take notice of this dangerous trend.”