Buhari double speaks to Britain on no interference to terrorist cases, denials Kanu access to Lawyer
Just as President Muhammadu Buhari was telling the British Government in London on Thursday that his government will not interfere with terrorism cases in Nigeria, her security agent, the Department of State Services, DSS refused lawyer to Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People Of Biafra, IPOB Barrister Ifeanyi Ejiofor, access to meet with his client.
President Buhari told British Prime Minister not to lose sleep especially on Nnamidi Kanu’s case as due legal process will be followed.
But by holding on to Kanu, the DSS has contravened last Monday’s court order which explicitly ordered that Nnamdi Kanu should be allowed access to his lawyer.
Nnamdi Kanu has been in DSS custody since June after he was rearrested and extradited to Nigeria. His trial was supposed to commence on 26th July but the DSS failed to produce him in court citing logistics reasons.
The presiding judge on the case Justice Binta Nyako adjourned the matter to October 21 and mandated the DSS to allow Kanu’s lawyer to have periodic access to his client.
However, Ejiofor on Thursday declared that the DSS has again refused to allow him access to Nnamdi Kanu.
Ejiofor in a statement posted on his social media page says that the DSS’s refusal is another flagrant violation of court order.
He wrote, “The Department of State Security Services 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 but 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 waited 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, which details is known to all parties on the modality of the visit.
“I am not surprised by the conduct of the DSS who have 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 of 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 Security Services should be held responsible.
“Let the World and all responsible Foreign Governments take Notice of this dangerous trend.”
Legal pundits said the DSS action is expected as a strategy to ensure Kanu’s case does not come up before the October date given by the Judge who left a proviso that despite the legal holiday, the case could be heard on request.