A senior lawyer of Nnamdi Kanu, Mike Ozekhome, has expressed fears that the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), might die in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS) if he is not released.
Ozekhome expressed his concerns while speaking to judges at the Supreme court during the hearing of Kanu’s case on Thursday, May 11.
The Senior lawyer told the apex court that Kanu is very sick and requires a surgical operation, hence should be released immediately. The lawyer asked the court to rule in favor of the transfer of Kanu from DSS custody to Kuje correctional center so that he can begin treatment.
“My Lords, Nnamdi Kanu is sick, he has been approved for surgery but they have refused to release him for treatment. We are pleading for him to be transferred from DSS custody to Kuje correctional centre so that he can begin treatment like others. He’s getting really sick, I’m scared he may die in the custody of DSS. Dead bodies are not prosecuted.”he told the court
Reacting to Ozekhome’s plea, the apex court said God will keep the IPOB leader alive and that he will not die in detention. The court said even if it proceeds to hear the appeal, there is no space within its calendar to write and deliver the verdict within the 90-day deadline.
“Nnamdi Kanu will not die in detention. God will keep him alive and his blood won’t be in your hands.” the court said
The case before the court was then adjourned till September 14.
Recall that Kanu was arrested in Kenya and flown to Nigeria on June 19, 2021. Subsequently, the federal government filed terrorism charges against him. Eight of the fifteen count charges were struck out by Justice Binta Nyako on April 8, 2022. The remaining seven counts were later quashed by the court of appeal on October 13, 2022.
On October 28, 2022, the court of appeal granted a stay of execution on its verdict which discharged Kanu of terrorism charges filed against him by the federal government. Kanu and his lawyers are at the Supreme Court to Appeal the verdict of the Court of Appeal.