Ifeanyi Ejiofor, the Lead Counsel to the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, has claimed that the Department of State Services (DSS) denied the British Consul and Dr Chukwuemeka Ezeife access to his client on Thursday.
The lawyer made these claims in a statement that was made available to Africa Today News, New York.
According to Ejiofor, the court had on October 21, ‘expanded the number of persons that could visit Our Client on any of the designated days scheduled for his routine visit.’
He also noted that Kanu has been authorized to have three persons of his choice to visit him, explaining that the list was no longer exclusive to lawyers and family members.
The statement read: ‘In line with this Order of Court, we forwarded the list of names scheduled to visit Our Client on Monday, 25th October 2021, which included Attorney Bruce Fein – our Client’s International Attorney and Legal Representative in the United States of America.
‘Attorney Fein arrived Nigeria from the United States of America to witness the Court proceedings of the 21st Day of October, 2021, and also utilize the opportunity of the visit to interface with his Client – Onyendu Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.
‘Unknown to us, a rude shock awaited us at the DSS. Upon arrival at the DSS Headquarters on Monday, 25th October, 2021, for the scheduled routine visit, the detaining authority did not stop at keeping us waiting for well over two hours, but thereafter specifically told us that no foreigner, including Bruce Fein would be allowed to visit Our Client, and as such, he would not participate in the visit.
‘The renowned International Constitutional Human Rights Lawyer was not only disappointed with the Authority concerned, but was shocked at the brazen manner in which the Nigerian Court Orders are flouted with impunity by those whose primary mandate is to protect and preserve these Laws and maintain Order.
‘Attorney Bruce Fein, consequently left the premises of the DSS visibly broken. Apparently, he has gathered enough to feed the International Community upon his return to the United States.
‘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 innocent woman who flew all the way from Lagos on this special diplomatic engagement, was denied access to Our Client, and told that she is not welcomed for the visit because she’s a foreigner.
‘His Excellency, Dr. CHUKWUEMEKA EZEIFE who was denied access to the Court room 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 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!’
Ejiofor further appealed to Kanu’s followers to ‘remain calm as we explore all legal remedies available to our Client in the circumstance of this breach.’
Kanu was in June rearrested by the federal Government and taken into the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS)
AFRICA TODAY NEWS, NEW YORK