Barrister Ifeanyi Ejiofor, lead counsel for Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), has petitioned the British, American, Canadian, Russian and Israeli embassies over the solitary confinement of Kanu in the Department of State Service (DSS)’s detention.
Anaedoonline.ng reports that the petition was titled, “Solitary Confinement Of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu (A British Citizen) In The Custody Of The Department Of State Security (In Re: Charge No. FHC/ABJ/CR/383/2015 Federal Republic Of Nigeria V. Nnamdi Kanu).”
In the petition made available to newsmen on Friday, Ejiofor claimed that the IPOB leader was abducted and tortured in Kenya on June 19 and flown to Nigeria to face a court trial at the Federal High Court, Abuja without the presence of his counsel.
According to the lawyer, the DSS has refused to give Kanu access to proper medical care despite his worsening health conditions.
Ejiofor further stated that the secret police refused to allow the Biafra activist American lawyer, Bruce Fein, to see him in detention, despite a court order that three persons are allowed to see him on Mondays and Thursdays.
He called on the international community to deploy an aggressive diplomatic engagement/effort to ensure that Nnamdi Kanu is released unconditionally in the shortest possible time.
The letter partly read, “We act as Solicitors to Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, (hereinafter referred to simply as, ‘our client’), a British citizen, currently held in solitary confinement in the facility of the Department of State Security, Abuja, Nigeria. We write this letter to your good self, consistent with his brief and instruction. Our said client has informed us to the following effect, namely,
“That on the 19th day of June 2021, he was abducted at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi, Kenya, by Kenyan security operatives and was severely tortured and dehumanised for eight days. Further, that after he had undergone excruciating physical assault, he was subsequently extraordinarily renditioned to Nigeria.
“That upon being extraordinarily renditioned as aforesaid, our client was summarily brought before the Federal High Court, Abuja Judicial Division, presided over by Hon. Justice Binta Nyako, on the 29th day of June, 2021, and was, by order made under the hand of the learned Judge, remanded in the custody of the Department of State Security, Abuja. It is instructive to note that these proceedings were taken surreptitiously, without notice to us and without affording our client the benefit of legal representation.
“That in the proceedings aforesaid, the criminal charge preferred against our client in 2015 and pending in the same court was adjourned to the 26th day of July, 2021, for hearing. Further, that on the adjourned date, operatives of the Department of State Security did not produce our client in court and did not proffer any reason for his non-production. For this reason, proceedings which could have been taken on that day was truncated and the case was further adjourned to the 21st day of October 2021, for hearing.
“After arguments were taken on the application, the learned trial Judge acceded to our prayer and directed that the Detaining Authority, namely, the Department of State Security (Services), should thenceforth afford us access to our client on Mondays and Thursdays of every week. Subsequently, the order referred to above was flagrantly violated by operatives of the Detaining Authority, as we were not afforded access to our client. This was in spite of the fact that we caused the enrolled order of court to be served on the Detaining Authority. It was only upon the activation of the mechanism for the enforcement of orders of courts by committal that operatives of the Detaining Authority buckled and complied with the order of the court.
“Regrettably, despite the fact that the court order referred to above was immediately enrolled and served on the Department of State Security (Services), the latter denied persons whom our client chose to have an audience with access to our client. One of such persons is a certain Bruce Fein. For the record, Bruce Fein a foremost American Constitutional Law Attorney, who doubles as our client’s International Attorney and Attorney to IPOB in the United States of America, was denied access to our client, both at the facility of the Department of State Security, for five consecutive times, and at the court.
“It must be pointed out that our client was diagnosed of a medical condition, occasioned by gradual depletion of potassium in his system, which condition has defied every medical solution so far given to him within the facility of the Department of State Security (Services).
“Furthermore, our client has since his extraordinary rendition to Nigeria, been exclusively confined to a tiny cell where he has no access to any other living object except his handlers, who bring food to him. Our client informed me and I verily believe him that he is daily exposed to mental and psychological torture, all targeted at breaking his spirit and compelling him to admit guilt in respect of an offence he never committed.
“Right to freedom of Religion/worship is a constitutionally guaranteed right of the citizens, clearly provided for in Section 38 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, (as Amended). It is instructive to also point out the fact that our client has not been convicted of any offence known to law.
“That being so, the law presumes him innocent of the 7-Count Amended Charge. Further, since his remand at the facility of the Department of State Security, Abuja, he has been denied his constitutional right to practice his religion. He is not allowed to practice his Jewish faith. Furthermore, recently, he is being fed with poorly prepared food, which, ostensibly, is designed to slowly kill him.
“It is our further information that over 300 innocent members of the Indigenous People of Biafra arrested across the South East States are secretly being detained in the facility of the Department of State Security, Abuja, without access to their relatives and lawyers.
“We also respectfully call for an aggressive diplomatic engagement/effort to ensure that our client is released unconditionally in the shortest possible time. The Nigerian Government should not be allowed to benefit from its wrongdoing. It grossly violated all international treaties it is a signatory to the moment it surreptitiously entered a sovereign state to kidnap/abduct a British national and extraordinarily renditioned him to Nigeria for a trial that is a sham.”
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