Nigeria

Lawyer: Nnamdi Kanu’s health deteriorating due to solitary confinement, mental torture

FILE PHOTO - Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) leader Nnamdi Kanu is seen at the Federal high court Abuja, Nigeria January 20, 2016 REUTERS-Afolabi Sotunde-File Photo

Barrister Ifeanyi Ejiofor, the lawyer representing the detained leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, has raised the alarm over his deteriorating health condition due to his solitary confinement and mental torture he is allegedly subjected to by the security agency.

Ejiofor while featuring Monday on ‘Good Morning Show’ on ARISE TV, said there was urgent need for his doctors to attend to him before it was too late.

He said Kanu was brought into the country last Sunday after being detained, maltreated and subjected to all forms of inhuman treatment and inflicted with severe injuries due to the handcuffs that were put on his hands for hours before he was brought to court.

Ejiofor lamented that he was not informed by the prosecution panel that his client had been ‘abducted’ and ‘kidnapped’ from Kenya and brought into the country to appear before the court last Tuesday.

He added that if at all there was transparency in what the federal government had done, the prosecuting panel should have informed him that Kanu would be charged to court that Tuesday.

Ejiofor stated: “There is an underlined fact that my client will not get a fair trial in that court, that is settled. The issue of fair trial has been taken away by this collaboration. But we will keep on watching and we are going to see them in court.”

“I have seen him and he has given me every information and details about what transpired in Kenya, how he was arrested, how he was taken to an unknown destination and how he was maltreated and how they nearly killed him over there. And it is obvious from what he told me that it was at the behest of the federal government that they were doing those things until when they beckoned to them to come. This is against, and obvious infractions of all international laws and treaties, but we are going to address it at that level.

“It is obvious from every indication that my client will not get a fair trial in this court, until when the contrary is established,” he said.

Ejiofor recalled that before Kanu was granted bail, he spent over two years in prison, adding that the court itself was aware that he was in prison custody before he was granted bail.

He said at the point he was in prison, Kanu did not at any time make any effort to leave the prison without a judicial process.

Following his abduction from Kenya, Ejiofor lamented that the Department of State Security (DSS) had made it near impossible for his relatives and well wishers to visit him, except on appointment by his lawyers since he had been remanded in custody, saying that in itself is mental torture.

According to him, “He’s being subjected to mental torture as I speak with you. Because when someone is in incarceration as a political prisoner, which he is, he has no access to his wife, he has no access to his brothers, he has no access to his relatives to interact with them. Even lawyers who are coming to see him are coming with a specific approval by the DG SSS. So it shows that he is undergoing mental torture and it is worse still that Nnamdi Kanu is under a debilitating health situation.

He further said that his health needs to be addressed as soon as possible, stressing that it is only a living that can face trial.

Ejiofor said that the fact that there was a warrant of arrest for Kanu cannot stop the country from going into extradition proceedings before the extradition can be granted by that country.

He said by Section 35(6) of the constitution, Kanu is presumed innocent until proven guilty, stressing that at the moment a lot of things are going on, while alleging that people are being paid to confess against Kanu.

Ejiofor insisted that Kanu never jumped bail, adding that if the federal government was serious about prosecuting him, they would have allowed him to come to court on September 14, 2017 to face his trial before his house was invaded and people killed.

His lawyer pointed out that if he had been killed when his house was invaded in 2017 and over 28 people were killed, they won’t be talking about his trial today.

Ejiofor said all these facts would be presented before the court, while insisting that Kanu never violated his bail condition.

He stressed that he would be filing a preliminary application today (Monday), which would be entertained before July 26 when Kanu was billed to appear before the court because his health was deteriorating.

Ejiofor said he would be going to court to ensure his health was attended to by his doctors.

He, however, alleged that his own life was under threat because he was defending IPOB, while calling on the federal government to protect him from those who are after his life.

Ejiofor recalled that before Kanu was arrested in 2015, a three-count charge were preferred against him, but added that subsequently the federal government filed an amended 11-count charge. He said he filed an injunction to the charges and the court struck out eight of it.

He recalled that the court ruled that the three-count charge preferred against him cannot be substantiated, but the court gave the prosecutor the benefit of doubt to establish the charge against him.

Ejiofor said those counts struck out by the court had now been reversed by the federal government.

He noted that Kanu, being a political prisoner, a 45-man legal team would be out together to defend him in court.

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