A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has ordered the Department of States Services (DSS) to allow Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), the “maximum possible comfort” in its facility.
Justice Binta Nyako, the trial judge, gave the order at a court session on Thursday.
Raising an oral application in court on Thursday, Ejiofor reiterated his claim and pleaded with the court to give an order for his client to be given maximum comfort.
In her ruling, Justice Nyako told the separatist leader’s counsel that a custodial centre is not a “five-star hotel” where he can receive maximum comfort.
She, however, ordered the DSS to provide Kanu with the “maximum possible comfort”.
She also ruled that he should be allowed to have a bath whenever he wants, change his clothes, eat properly and practice his faith.
In a statement signed by Ejimakor and issued after the sitting, he noted that during the hearing, there was a total absence of security operatives in court and around the outer perimeters as was the case during previous proceedings.
The lawyer stated that Kanu was not in court and there was no officer from the Department of State Service to explain why, but said from his observation, both the court and the DSS might have concluded that his presence in court was not strictly required in the sort of application that was moved in court on Thursday.
He also claimed that the court did not grant Kanu’s legal team the leave to move their application challenging the jurisdiction of the court to continue the trial.
The statement read: “Recall that we had filed such application, arguing that the extraordinary rendition of Kanu constitutes a constitutional barrier to his trial. The court ruled that the application was not calendared for hearing today. That it will be heard at the next adjourned date.
“The court, after going through what it said is a tight judicial calendar, moved the date of the next hearing backwards from 19th to 18th January 2022. The court ruled that it will entertain all outstanding applications at the next hearing date, and proceeded to make the following Orders: That Mazi Kanu be given maximum comfort possible in the detention facility. That he be allowed a change of clothing.
“That he be allowed free practice of his Jewish faith including access to his Jewish religious materials. That the DSS obey all previous orders granted in the matter, including allowing Kanu any visitor of his choice. That Kanu be permitted, at his option, to mingle freely with other inmates or any other persons at the detention facility.”
Kanu, who jumped bail in 2017, was re-arrested and subsequently repatriated to Nigeria from an undisclosed location on 27 June “through the collaborative efforts of Nigerian intelligence and security services”, according to Abubakar Malami, the Attorney-General of the Federation.
He was re-arraigned before a Federal High Court in Abuja on 29 June and ordered to be remanded in the custody of the DSS.
The trial was stalled after the DSS failed to produce Kanu in court on 26 July, the adjourned date for hearing.
Justice Binta Nyako, the trial judge, adjourned the case till October 21, 2021, when judges were expected to have resumed their annual vacation.
The Federal Government had slammed an amended seven-count charge against Kanu.
Kanu was eventually produced in court on 21 October and pleaded “not guilty” to an amended seven-charge bordering on treason, treasonable felony, terrorism and illegal possession of firearms among others filed against him by the Federal Government.
Justice Nyako adjourned the case till January 19 and 20, 2022, for the continuation of trial.