Ifeanyi Ejiofor, counsel to Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), has criticised the Department of State Services (DSS) for denying Chukwuemeka Ezeife and a British envoy access to his client.
Kanu, who is facing charges of treason, is currently being held by the DSS after he was brought back to Nigeria to face trial.
In July, Binta Nyako, a judge, had ruled that access to Kanu at the DSS should be “regimented”.
“But it is not going to be all comers’ affair; it will be regimented. You can’t get up at night and say you want to visit your client,” the judge had said.
But Ejiofor, in a statement issued on Thursday, said the DSS denied access to Ezeife, a former governor of Anambra, and “the British consul”. Kanu’s lawyer however failed to mention the name of the consul.
He described the action as “clear violation of the subsisting order of court,” adding that he will initiate legal action against the leadership of the DSS.
The lawyer said the DSS had earlier denied Bruce Fein, IPOB’s lawyer in the US, access to Kanu when he visited on Monday.
“Today was the turn of the British consul to experience what the civilized society may refer to as the height of abnormality in the system,” the statement reads.
“The innocent woman who flew all the way from Lagos on this special diplomatic engagement, was denied access to our client and told her that she is not welcome for the visit because she’s a foreigner.
“His Excellency, Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife who was denied access to the courtroom at the last court sitting was also denied access to our client today without offering any reason(s). Height of impunity indeed!
“It is important to point out here that the order of court with regard to the number of persons and class of persons allowed to visit our client, never restricted them to Nigerians only
“It is more so that this clarification was made by His Lordship, following our specific complaint to the court that Attorney Bruce Fein was not only denied access to our client on two occasions at the DSS Headquarters, but was not allowed inside the courtroom on 21st October, 2021.
“If His Lordship’s intention was to restrict foreigners from visiting our Client, the Court would have simply made it clear while responding to our application for clarification.
“Though we have promptly filed another application for the transfer of our client to the correctional center predicated on an entirely new set of facts.
“It is now crystal clear to the world that if the DSS is allowed to remain the custodian of our client, there shall certainly be gross denial of fair hearing and fair trial in these proceedings.
“We will equally be initiating contempt proceedings against the Head of the DSS for this gross violation of court order.
“Order of the court must be obeyed regardless of the status of the person(s) involved or the agency affected by the order.
“Even though the DSS has a history of flouting court orders with impunity, we will pursue for the Court to step in, in this case and protect the sanctity of its Order(s). Enough is enough!”