Detained IPOB Leader Nnamdi Kanu Declines Begging for Release, Highlights Detention Concerns
IPOB's Nnamdi Kanu Rejects Begging for Release, Stresses Concerns on Detention Conditions
In a significant development, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), has conveyed his firm stance to the Federal Government that he will not plead for his release. This assertion follows his clearance by Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court in Abuja, according to a letter dated August 25, 2023. The letter, bearing the signature of Kanu’s lead counsel, Mike Ozekhome, SAN, was disclosed to our correspondent late night on August 28, 2023.
Mike Ozekhome had expressed concerns over the dire conditions of Kanu’s detention facility under the Department of State Services (DSS). The lawyer, in his communication, called for the intervention of the Chief Judge of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, urging the appointment of a Magistrate to inspect the conditions of the detention center.
In the letter, Kanu cited a notable historical figure, the late Pa Mbazulike Amechi, who despite his advanced age and poor health, had traveled repeatedly from the South-East to Abuja. Pa Amechi had implored the Federal Government to fulfill his dying wish, a plea that was met with disdain and subsequently ignored. Kanu underscored that soliciting his freedom under the current circumstances would be a dishonor to the memory of this valiant effort.
The details of this exchange were unveiled during a meeting between the IPOB leader, his legal representatives, and his family. Kanu’s counsel, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, issued a statement titled, “Update on our routine visit to our indefatigable client – Onyendu Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, at the Headquarters of the State Security Services, Abuja, where he is still being illegally and unconstitutionally detained in solitary confinement.”
Ejiofor conveyed Kanu’s gratitude to all supporters and groups advocating for his release, while also highlighting the complexity of his case. Kanu emphasized that he had been lawfully discharged by a Court of Appeal judgment delivered on October 13, 2022. This judgment not only cleared him but also prohibited further trials and detentions. Consequently, there are no pending charges against him in any court as of the present date.
Kanu categorically expressed that beseeching the Federal Government for his release at this juncture would be a slight to the memory of the late Pa Mbazulike Amechi. This conviction stems from the latter’s persistent endeavors to appeal to the Federal Government, despite his frailty, which were met with disrespect and neglect.
In light of these circumstances, Kanu contends that he does not deem it necessary to implore the Federal Government for his freedom. The pronouncement of the Court of Appeal remains irrefutable. He urges instead that the focus should be on the Supreme Court scheduling a prompt hearing for the appeal filed by the Federal Government, as prescribed by the Criminal Appeals Practice Directions of the Supreme Court.
The legal team, led by Prof. Mike Ozekhome, SAN, paid a visit to Kanu on August 28, 2023, to brief him on various measures taken to address his well-being and the DSS’s failure to provide his medical records. One of these measures involves a petition to the Chief Judge of the Federal Capital Territory, urging the appointment of a Magistrate to inspect the detention facility, in accordance with the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015.
In response to the DSS’s refusal to furnish Kanu with his medical records, despite a court order by Justice Binta Nyako on July 20, 2023, Prof. Mike Ozekhome, SAN, initiated contempt proceedings against the State Security Service and its Director General. This action was taken due to the blatant disregard of a court order by the security agency.