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We have not accessed Nnamdi Kanu in the last 10 days

We have not accessed Nnamdi Kanu in the last 10 days

Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court, Abuja has adjourned the trial of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu to October 21, due to failure of Nigerian Government to produce him in court on Monday.

 

When the matter was called up, the prosecution counsel, M. B. Abubakar, informed the court that the matter was slated for hearing and that they were ready to continue.

 

Nnamdi Kanu’s lawyer, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, then informed the court that there was a pending application before the court to transfer Kanu from the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS) to a correctional centre.

 

FG in a counter-affidavit told the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja that Nnamdi Kanu, is being investigated over offences he committed after he jumped bail.

 

According to FG’s argument, the offences Kanu allegedly committed, bordered on national security.

 

The counter-affidavit reads in part; “That there is ongoing investigation as to other offences committed by the defendant/applicant while jumping bail.

 

“That the alleged offences borders on National security.

 

“That transferring the defendant/applicant to the Correctional facility will jeopardize the investigation of the offences.

 

 


“That the defendant/applicant does not place anything before this Honourable Court that suggests the medical facility available at the DSS detention is not capable of handling his health issues.

 

“That the defendant/applicant’s application is capable of delaying the proceedings in this case”, read the counter-affidavit that was deposed to by one Loveme Odubo, a litigation officer in the Federal Ministry of Justice.

 

Kanu, in the application he filed through his team of lawyers led by Mr Ifeanyi Ejiofor, decried that he has been denied access to his medical doctors.

 

He said he might die in the custody of the DSS if nothing was done to urgently address his deteriorating health condition.

 

He specifically applied for an order of the trial court, “directing the transfer of the Applicant from the custody of the National Headquarters of the State Security Service to the Nigerian Correctional Service Centre in Kuje, Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, where he was initially detained before he was granted bail, pending the determination of the charge”.

 

As well as, “An order of this Honourable Court directing the Defendant/Applicant’s custodian, to grant access to his medical experts/doctors to carry out a comprehensive independent medical examination of the defendant/applicant’s health condition/status, while in custody”.

 

But Justice Binta Nyako stated that the trial cannot continue in the absence of the IPOB leader since he was not available to stand his trial.

 

 


The court adjourned to October 21, 2021, for continuation of hearing.

 

Ejiofor, leading counsel for Nnamdi Kanu also told the court that the Department of State Services (DSS) had denied him and relatives of Kanu the opportunity to see him.

 

He said, “I was informed authoritatively, I am speaking from the bar, that Nnamdi Kanu has been taken out of jurisdiction of this court.

 

“We have been denied access to Kanu in the last 10 days.

 

“We are worried about his safety and don’t know why the Federal Government refused to bring him in court.”

 

It will be recalled that Kanu whose whereabouts was hitherto unknown, was on June 27 returned to the country after he was arrested from a yet to be confirmed country.

 

The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami, SAN, had insisted that he lawfully “intercepted” as a result of a collaborative effort of various security agencies in the country.

 

However, Kanu’s lawyer, Ejiofor, disclosed that his client was on June 18, illegally arrested at the airport and detained for eight days by Kenya’s Special Police Force before he was eventually handed over to their Nigerian counterpart.

 

Ifeanyi Ejiofor alleged that the IPOB leader was tortured and subjected to various forms of inhuman treatment in Kenya, a situation he said worsened his health condition.

 

Moreso, commercial activities were grounded in Onitsha on Monday. Nbeu and their environs like Ogidi, Nkpor, Nsugbe, Nkwelke, Ezunaka, Obosi and Oba, Ozubulu, Oraifeite, Nnobi, and Akwaukwu markets in the area were closed down, while banks and Federal Government agencies equally shut for business.

 

 


Some of the markets in Onitsha, such as Onitsha Main Market, Ochanja Central Market, Oseokwodu Markets, over 27 markets under Bridge Head Markets, Onitsha Medicine Market, popularly known as Ogbo Ogwu Market, Biafra Market Onitsha, New Spare Parts Nkpor, Old Motor Parts Nkpor, Old Motor Spare Parts Obosi, New Tyre Market Nkpor all in Onitsha and its environs, and Nkwo Nnewi Market, Obi Nsoedo Market, Motor Spare Parts Nnewi, Motorcycle Spare Part Nnewi, and Timber Market also in Nnewi were all shut down as the roads in the industrial city was also deserted.

 

All the major roads in Onitsha including the Onitsha-Enugu expressway, Onitsha-Owerri expressway, Oba-Nnewi-Okigwe expressway, Old and New Market roads Onitsha, Awka and Oguta road, and many others were a ghost of themselves as street markets on the roads were under lock and key.

 

There was, however, no formal directive by the leadership of IPOB, for markets and business activities not to open, but in solidarity for the IPOB and its leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, over his alleged abduction, extradition and resumed trial in Federal High Court Abuja.

 

Some Federal Government agencies like Federal Inland Revenue Services, FIRS, National Inland Waterways Authority, NIWA, were under lock and key, while all the commercial banks in the city shut their premises for business when Vanguard moved around Onitsha, Nnewi, and their environs.

 

However, the Police, Army, and Naval officials were sighted moving around Onitsha, to ensure there is no breakdown of law and order, however, some newspaper dispatch officials going to Awka, Nnewi, and Ekwulobia in Aguata Local Government Area, were turned back by the Police and soldiers for their safety, Vanguard reported.

 

Entry from Asaba, Awka, and Owerri was made difficult by both Army and Police roadblocks and bonfires made by youths suspected to be members of IPOB, at Nkpor junction, Onitsha Owerri road, and Niger Bridge Head Onitsha.

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