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Lawyer: DSS restricting legal team’s access to Nnamdi Kanu

Lawyer: DSS restricting legal team’s access to Nnamdi Kanu
May 24
16:29 2024

Alloy Ejimakor, counsel to Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), says the Department of State Services (DSS) is restricting access to the defendant. 

Kanu is standing trial on a seven-count charge bordering on treasonable felony as preferred against him by the federal government.

On May 20, Binta Nyako, presiding judge, dismissed another bail application filed by Kanu.

Nyako also refused Kanu’s plea to be transferred from the custody of the DSS to prison.

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The defendant’s request to be placed under house arrest was also rejected. 

However, the court ordered the DSS to always grant Kanu access to his lawyers — not exceeding five persons on every visiting day.

It ordered that Kanu must be given “a clean place” to consult with his lawyers at the DSS detention facility, adding that he must be granted access to a doctor of his choice.

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Ejimakor said the court had also directed that the lawyers should be allowed to consult with Kanu as a team and not separately, and that such consultation should be done in a “private room”.

Following the order, Ejimakor said the names of four lawyers billed to meet with Kanu on Thursday were forwarded to the DSS.

“But the DSS refused, insisting that the lawyers must meet with Kanu separately. To be sure, this is a flagrant disobedience of the court order,” he said.

“Additionally, the room where the lawyers were separately taken to meet with Kanu is the office of a senior officer of the DSS and hardly qualifies as a private room that is presumably free from any secret monitoring devices, which is the case with the interrogation room where Kanu previously met with his lawyers.

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“Further, the court order gave leave to the lawyers to enter with books and to take notes from briefings with Mazi Kanu but, in addition to disallowing team visitation, the DSS also disallowed our entry into the room with papers and collected our eyeglasses, such that some of us could not read the provisions of the extant laws to which Mazi Kanu adverted us as crucial to preparing his defence.

“This latest development affirms the point we have been making in court that continuing to detain Kanu at the DSS constitutes a permanent hindrance to any prospect of getting a fair trial for him.

“This is the reason we had filed applications to either restore his bail, or transfer him to prison custody or home detention, but the court refused all the applications.

“For the foregoing reasons, we have come to the only reasonable conclusion emanating from this anomalous situation, and that is: the prosecution which is pushing for an accelerated trial is either unserious or that it wants an accelerated kangaroo trial, lacking in any scintilla of fair play.

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“Accordingly, we hereby reiterate our unwavering determination and professional commitment to ensure that Mazi Nnamdi Kanu can never be subjected to a trial that is against the tenets of the constitution.

“The opposite will amount to a grave miscarriage of justice and is unethical to boot.”

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