•Demands transfer from DSS cell to Kuje prison

From Godwin Tsa, Abuja

Detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, yesterday alleged that there was a conspiracy to let him die in the custody of the Department of State Service (DSS).

Kanu, who made the allegation while addressing the court shortly after he was denied bail, requested to be transferred to the Kuje Correctional Centre. He told the court that he is suffering from cognitive heart disease and that the DSS facility is not well equipped to take care of him.

Kanu alleged that the DSS had no medical facility to treat him, adding that there was a conspiracy for him to die in the DSS custody.

Speaking from the dock, shortly after his bail application was denied by trial Justice, Binta Nyako, Kanu alleged a conspiracy to allow him to die in custody of the secret police.

He said, “People will come to see me; they will not allow them. They don’t have a medical facility. I have congestive heart failure; they are patching me up. My foot is swollen. I asked them to conduct surgery, and they said they couldn’t. There is a conspiracy for me to die in detention. I want to be transferred to Kuje,” he told the court.

Responding, the judge said she had no confidence in keeping him in Kuje.

Justice Nyako said, “The law says I can keep you anywhere I think it is safe for you. If I make an order and it is not adhered to, you come back to me. I have over 15 terrorists that escaped from there. I don’t have confidence in Kuje prison.”

Counsel for the defendant, Alloy Ejimakor insisted that the DSS custody was no longer safe for Kanu. He said, “The DSS is no longer a safe place. That takes away that it is a safe place for him. It is a glorified prison.

On his part, the counsel for the FG, Adegboyega Awolomo (SAN) denied disobeying the order of the court on Kanu’s outfit. He argued that there was nowhere in the world anyone charged with terrorism was granted bail. He said, “With respect to the cloth, the ones they brought were not in accordance with your order, my lord. “

Kanu  passionately pleaded with  the court to order that he should be placed on house arrest.

He said, “My lord, since you don’t want me to go to Kuje, order that I should be placed on house arrest. That is done everywhere in the world.  I want to adequately plan for my defence, I will defeat them in this same court. Where are the treason felony charges against me? They don’t have any evidence against me. Where did the terrorism charges come from? “

Justice Nyako urged him to put his request into an application, adding that her court is a court of record. She subsequently adjourned the matter till April 17 for hearing.

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Earlier, the Abuja division of the Federal High Court has dismissed the fresh application brought by the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu, seeking his release on bail, pending the determination of the treasonable felony charge filed against him by the Federal Government.

Justice Binta Nyako, who rejected Kanu’s bail application however ordered accelerated hearing of the seven-count charge against him. She said the court having dismissed a similar application, the only option now left for Kanu was to challenge the decision at the Court of Appeal. In the dismissed application, Kanu had prayed the court to grant him bail on “most liberal terms” owing to his deteriorating health.

His counsel, Aloy Ejimakor argued that there was no dispute that the IPOB leader had a serious health condition that was confirmed by a federal government owned hospital. Ejimakor disclosed that a series of tests that were conducted on Kanu, showed that he was suffering from hypertension and acute heart disease.

“Our humble submission is that the medical condition of the defendant speaks for itself and the health challenge persists, despite the treatment offered him by the detaining authority,” Ejimako added.

He maintained that Kanu’s continued detention by the Department of State Services, DSS, posed a threat to his life, adding that freeing the defendant on bail would enable him to effectively prepare his defence to the charge.

But on its part, counsel to the Federal government, Chief Adegboyega Awomolo, SAN, opposed the bail application, insisting that there was no guarantee that Kanu would make himself available for trial, once released from detention.

Awomolo told the court that the security agency had been diligent in protecting Kanu’s life. He urged the court to reject the bail request and order accelerated hearing of the case. The prosecution counsel said Section 161 of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, stipulated that the defendant must prove that the authorities failed to grant him access to quality healthcare at his detention centre.

The senior lawyer further contended that there was nothing tangible that was brought before the court to establish an exceptional circumstance that would warrant Kanu’s release on bail. He submitted that the court had earlier revoked the defendant’s bail after he violated the conditions attached to it.

Awomolo said: “There is no evidence before the court that Kanu will not bail again.”

Meanwhile, the IPOB leader, who is facing trial for treasonable felony, distanced himself from the protracted violence in the south eastern part of the country.

Kanu, who vowed that those behind the violence, in the name of being IPOB members, would not be spared spoke in Abuja immediately after a Federal High Court denied him bail. He, however, explained that the violence persisted because he was being held in captivity. The IPOB leader expressed optimism that peace will return to the region if he is released from detention.

He said, “Anybody committing crime cannot go free. I swear it. Anybody committing crime in the east cannot go free. They are doing it because I am in the DSS (custody). If I were to be outside, nobody could try this. I suspect that some people in the government are complicit. They are making money with insecurity.

“They know if Nnamdi Kanu is outside, in two minutes, this nonsense will stop. Who is the bagger or idiot that will speak when I am talking? I will give an order in the East; who is the idiot that I will give an order and he will counter it? Nobody can. I am Nnamdi Kanu. Anybody involved in any form of violence in the East in the name of IPOB is a goner, and they know it. Let me come out of this mess, in only two minutes, there will be peace in the East.