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IPOB leader, Kanu, begs court to transfer him to prison, says he may die in DSS custody

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The detained leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) Nnamdi Kanu, has applied to the Federal High Court in Abuja, to be transferred from the custody of the Department of State Service (DSS) to the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCS) centre in Kuje.

Kanu in the application he filed through his counsel, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, decried the denial of access to his medical doctors, saying he might die in the custody of the DSS if nothing was done to urgently address his deteriorating health condition.

Specifically, he applied for an order of the trial court, to direct the DSS to grant him access to his medical doctors to carry out a comprehensive independent medical examination on his health condition, while in custody.

Ripples Nigeria reported that Kanu was arrested abroad, brought back to Nigeria on June 27 and subsequently arraigned on June 29, while the case was adjourned to July 26.

The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, had insisted that Kanu was lawfully “intercepted” through a collaborative effort of various security agencies in the country.

However, Ejiofor alleged that his client was illegally arrested on June 18, at the Kenyan airport, and detained for eight days by Kenya’s Special Police Force before he was handed over to the Nigerian government.

The lawyer 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.

In the fresh application, Kanu alleged that he was being “subjected to mental and psychological torture” by the DSS, saying it would be in the interest of justice for the court to order his transfer to the NCS Centre, which he described as “an impartial facility that has no interest whatsoever” in the outcome of his trial.

An affidavit he attached in support of the application, reads in part: “That this charge NO. FHC/ABJ/CR/383/2015 came upon 29th June 2021 and the Applicant was brought before the Court in Chains, handcuffs and leg-cuffs, blindfolded, and was consequently remanded in the custody of the State Security Service, even though there was no legal representation for the Defendant, and the matter was therefore adjourned to the 26th day of July 2021 for trial.

“That the Counsel to the Applicant was not served with any hearing notice before the appearance of the applicant in Court, neither were they aware that any action was scheduled to take place in the criminal charge NO. FCH/ABJ/CR/383/2015 on that 29th June 2021.

Read also: We’ll bring down Nigeria if Kanu dies in detention – IPOB

“That on 30th June 2021, the Applicant’s Solicitors formally wrote to the State Security Service to allow the Applicant solicitors to have access to the Applicant. A copy of the said letter is hereby attached and marked as Exhibit MNK 1. That on 2nd July 2021, at about 12:32 pm, the State Security Service called me to inform me that our request to visit the Applicant has been approved and that I should come by 4:00 pm to see Defendant.

“That on the said 2nd July 2021 at about 5:00 pm, at the State Security Headquarters, in Abuja, the Applicant informed me of the following facts which I verily believed to be accurate and correct as follows; that he was kidnapped and/or abducted by Kenyan Security Forces on 19th June 2021, specifically at Nairobi Airport.

“That he was detained by the personnel of the Kenyan Police Force for eight days, and was throughout this period of detention subjected to all forms of inhuman treatment, brutal torture, causing grave and severe heart problem that almost took his life. That he was detained in an unconventional facility, not necessarily a police detention centre in Kenya.

“That he is still being subjected to mental and psychological torture by his custodians, on account of the conditions of his solitary confinement. That an ECG examination was carried out on Defendant, and it was discovered that Defendant’s heart had been enlarged by more than 13 per cent, posing a serious threat and danger to Defendant’s life.

“That there is a need for the Defendant to have access to his Medical Doctors to avert the danger looming against the life of the Defendant. That the health personnel attending to the Defendant in the custody of the State Security Service is not adequate considering the circumstances of the Defendant’s health condition.”

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