The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) accused Nigerian courts of assisting the Federal Government in unlawfully detaining their leader, Nnamdi Kanu. IPOB claims that Kanu was secretly tried and placed in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS), instead of the Nigerian Correctional Centre.
The group accuses the courts of collaborating with the Nigerian Government and disregarding the legal provisions by allowing Kanu’s trial to exceed the stipulated 90 days.
According to IPOB’s spokesman, Emma Powerful, Kanu has no charges against him by the DSS and therefore should not be in their custody.
“First, sequel to the infamous extraordinary rendition that saw him to Nigeria, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu was (on 29th June 2021) secretly arraigned and without the benefit of his counsel of record before the Federal High Court, Abuja and said court wrongfully ordered him detained with the DSS, instead of a prison facility, which is a violation of the provisions of the Nigeria Prisons Act and the Administration of Criminal Justice Act on awaiting trial defendants.
“Further, the secrecy of this arraignment and without notice to a counsel that was well-known to the court violated KANU’s constitutional right to counsel of his choice and the right to have his trial in public.
“Second, under the pertinent provisions of the Terrorism Prevention Act, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s initial detention was required to have terminated after 90 days or was subject to renewal after 90 days pursuant to written application by the prosecution but this was not done, thus rendering illegal the entire period of his detention after the initial 90 days.
“This illegality was achieved through the instrumentality of the Federal High Court that allowed the detention to continue without a formal application and an enrolled order.
“Third, Kanu has no case with the DSS. So, he has no business being detained by the DSS. Kanu’s case is with the Federal Republic of Nigeria, in which case he ought to be regarded as an awaiting trial inmate who should not be detained in a security agency cell but in a proper correctional facility that, by law, caters to awaiting trial inmates.
“The truth therefore is that the Court ordered Kanu detained by the DSS as a purely punitive measure, knowing fully well that the DSS was complicit in his rendition and torture in Kenya and that a holding cell such as where he is detained at the DSS will provide the maximum discomfort and threat to his health and well-being.”