The Department of State Services (DSS) has stopped the detained leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, from giving assent to some forms from the United Kingdom. He was stopped from signing the forms from the United Kingdom which will allow him to receive assistance from the United Kingdom.
One of the counsels for Kanu, Aloy Ejimakor, revealed this in a statement on Monday after paying him (Kanu) a visit in DSS custody.
It was earlier reported by Punch that the British Government was ready to offer “consular assistance” for Kanu but needed him to assent to the consular assistance by signing some forms.
Head of Communications, British High Commission in Abuja, Dean Hurlock, mentioned that “The British High Commission in Abuja is currently in the process of seeking clarification from the Nigerian government about the circumstances of the arrest.
“With regard to any questions about whether the British High Commission are providing assistance in this case, we can confirm that the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office stands ready to provide consular assistance.”
Ejimakor had earlier delivered two forms to Kanu last Wednesday during a visit he paid to the DSS but the forms were returned to him 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.
“As a lawyer, I don’t see any legal advantage the government of Nigeria stands to gain by blocking Kanu from signing those Forms. The Forms are but a mere routine in matters like this.
“Instead of any advantage, the refusal will help fuel the notion that the government of Nigeria is deliberately isolating Kanu from having consular and diplomatic access to the United Kingdom.
“It does not comport with the best traditions of fundamental fairness that a detainee is being denied access to resources that will assist him in his defence. This is one of the things that will count in our reckoning as this matter continues to fold.
“For these reasons, I am now compelled to call on the British High Commission in Nigeria to banish every red tape and exert the full weight of its diplomatic clout in gaining immediate access to Kanu. This is especially important, given the prospects of better welfare, including adequate medical care for Mazi Kanu.
“Further, the prompt intervention of the High Commission will mean that Kanu will have another layer of human contact in addition to his legal team who are the only ones currently allowed to see him.”
Recall that Kanu is a holder of Nigerian and British passports. He was arraigned before Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court in Abuja after he was re-arrested and extradited from a foreign country, for terrorism-related charges. He has since been remanded in the custody of the Department of State Services.