Ifeanyi Ejiofor, a lawyer to Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), has insisted that the Department of State Services (DSS) stopped him and Bruce Fein, IPOB’s lawyer in the US, from visiting the detained leader.
Ejiofor made the claim in a statement issued on Friday.
According to Ejiofor, the DSS turned him and Fein away when they went to visit their client on Thursday, saying they were told that the official assigned to receive them was on a “special assignment”.
The lawyer described the development as a violation of the court order, which permits visits to the IPOB leader by his legal team after a formal notification has been made.
The statement read: “Following the arrival of Mr. Bruce Fein, a foremost American trained constitutional law lawyer and IPOB’s attorney in the United States of America, the game obviously took an interesting twist.
“Despite our formal notification to the Service, in line with the existing protocol, and in compliance with the court-ordered guideline, the officials of the Department of State Security Services came up with an excuse, “that the person assigned to receive us during yesterday’s visit was on A SPECIAL ASSIGNMENT”, and as such, the visit cannot be conducted.
“This is not only ridiculous but a clear violation of the Court Order on guideline for visiting our Client- Onyendu Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.
“For the records, we have been consistently visiting Our Client on the specified days and time of the week, and there hasn’t been any time we were denied access to him on the ground that an individual assigned to receive us was not available.
“Needless to mention, that no one individual has been specifically assigned to receive us on any of the visits. They are fully aware that the visit takes place every Monday and Thursday.”
Ejiofor stated that he and Fein would visit their client again on another scheduled date of Monday, adding: “We do hope that this individual will be available on Monday to receive us, whilst we have taken steps to formally bring this latest infraction to the attention of the court.”
Kanu, who jumped bail in 2017, was re-arrested and subsequently repatriated to Nigeria on 27 June “through the collaborative efforts of Nigerian intelligence and security services”, according to Abubakar Malami, the Attorney-General of the Federation.
He is facing 11 charges bordering on treason, treasonable felony, terrorism and illegal possession of firearms among others.
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 are expected to have resumed from their annual vacation.