Monday, February 6, 2023

Nnamdi Kanu cannot enjoy luxury like a free man, judge tells lawyers

Justice Binta Nyako said the SSS detention was not a five-star hotel where Mr Kanu could enjoy all the luxury he desires.

• December 2, 2021
Nnamdi Kanu and Justice Binta Nyako

Justice Binta Nyako of the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court on Thursday told off lawyers of separatist leader Nnamdi Kanu seeking the court’s leave to compel the State Security Service, SSS, to put him in better accomodation.

Mrs Nyako told Mr Kanu’s lead counsel Ifeanyi Ejiofor that SSS detention was not a five-star hotel, hence Mr Kanu cannot be accorded luxury like a free man.

“DSS custody is not a five star hotel. Unless I am given an evidence about what you are saying. File an affidavit of facts  to that effect.
“Mr Ejiofor be serious in this matter. He is in a detention facility, there are certain things that are not allowed there. I have visited detention facilities in the U.S. and UK,” the judge said.

Mr Ejiofor, at an emergency hearing on Thursday, informed the court of the poor state of his client who has been in SSS facility since his extradition to Nigeria in June.

The lawyer said Mr Kanu was kept in a tiny room, wasn’t eating well and was yet to have a change of cloths since his detention.
“We want the court to order the detaining authority to keep the defendant in a convenient facility, he is kept in a tiny place, he has not been eaten well. He has been wearing one cloth since his detention,” he pleaded.
Mrs Nyako however directed that Mr Kanu be given “maximum comfort possible”, healthy diet and medical attention if needed at the SSS facility.

During the hearing, the court granted the defendant’s application seeking the abridgement of time to hear Kanu’s trial to January 18, 2022.
Mr Ejiofor challenged the competency of the court to hear Mr Kanu’s trial but the prosecution counsel, M.S. Labaran quickly objected, saying they were only in court to hear his application for abridgement of time.
The judge agreed with the prosecution counsel and said the hearing of other applications cannot be done in the absence of the defendant, Mr Kanu.

“Application for abrigdement of time can go on without the defendant but your other applications challenging the competency of the charge cannot be taken because your defendant is not in court,” Mrs Nyako said.
Justice Nyako also granted Kanu’s counsel’s request for abridgement of time by one day.
“I will take your pending applications on January 18 and then hearing of the trial will continue on January 19 to 20,” she ruled.

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