Nnamdi Kanu’s Special Counsel Aloy Ejimakor said the Nigerian government, through the States Security Service (SSS), was preventing his client from getting diplomatic assistance from the United Kingdom.
Ejimakor, who disclosed this in a statement on Monday, said the SSS had not allowed Kanu to sign the two documents that could have afforded him diplomatic assistance from the British High Commission in Nigeria.
He said he had delivered the forms to the IPOB leader during his last visit to him in custody.
He stressed that the agency, however, requested that its legal department be allowed to vet them before Kanu could append his signature on them, but was surprised on Monday when the agency returned the documents without his client’s signature on them.
“Last Saturday, when I visited Mazi Kanu, I expressed strong concerns about the inordinate delay in having Kanu sign the two forms I had taken to the DSS for Kanu’s signature some days before,” he said.
“Both forms relate to affirming his consent to consular and diplomatic interventions by the United Kingdom and her High Commission in Nigeria. Surprisingly, the forms were returned to me unsigned.
“Let me make it clear that the day I took the forms to the DSS, the officers on location were amenable to Kanu signing them until somewhere along the line, they tarried and decided to send it to the legal unit for vetting.
“So, my sense is that it’s the legal unit of the DSS that disapproved of Kanu signing the forms for reasons that were not given to me.”
The lawyer noted that the Nigerian government was not gaining anything by denying his client access to resources that would assist him in his defence, stating that the government’s refusal would help fuel the notion that the government of Nigeria was deliberately isolating Kanu from having consular and diplomatic access to the United Kingdom.
Ejimakor called on the British High Commission in Nigeria to banish every red tape and exert the full weight of its diplomatic clout to gain immediate access to Kanu, and also ensure that he received proper medical care while in custody.
Kanu, who is a Nigerian-British citizen, is currently facing an 11-count charge of treason, treasonable felony, terrorism, and illegal possession of firearms brought against by the Nigerian government.
He jumped bail and fled Nigeria after soldiers raided his residence in Umuahia, Abia State, in 2017.
But in June, the Nigerian government, through the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami, announced his extradition. He has been detained in the custody of the SSS by an Abuja Federal High Court since.