Ifeanyi Ejiofor, Lead Counsel for Nnamdi Kanu says the detained Leader of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) is tortured mentally and psychologically on a daily basis in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS).
He said this in a Wednesday statement while refuting claims made by the secret police on Kanu’s state of health and living conditions.
DSS spokesman, Dr. Peter Afunanya had claimed during a Tuesday news conference that Kanu was not being maltreated in its custody as claimed by his legal team.
He described the claims of maltreatment as “inciting”, explaining “accusation of maltreatment negate the service’s Standard Operation Procedure on the implementation of rights of a suspect.
“Kanu enjoys full luxury in the holding facility incomparable to any of its type anywhere in the country. He’s accorded full rights and privileges. Adequate attention is paid to Kanu’s health. He has access to medical care and doctors.”
Ejiofor’s statement titled, ‘Press statement in rebuttal of the wrong narrative being fed the public by the DSS vide their spokesperson’ noted that Kanu is subjected to 23 hours daily solitary confinement.
According to him, the DSS has also not allowed Kanu to change his outfit since he was repatriated from Kenya.
“Our client – Onyendu Mazi Nnamdi Kanu needs not be subjected to daily beatings and flogging by the personnel of the DSS before he can be qualified as being tortured – No!
“Section 2(b)(iv) of the Anti-Torture Act 2017, defined torture to include:
“(b) Mental or psychological torture, which is understood as referring to such cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment calculated to affect or confuse the mind or undermine a person’s dignity and morale.
“We were unable to find in any place throughout his statement where Mr. Afunanya clearly denied the fact that our client – Onyendu Mazi Nnamdi Kanu is not subjected to 23 hours daily solitary confinement.
“In his desperate effort to deny the obvious, Mr. Afunanya stated that our client is allowed the opportunity of daily changing of his clothes. This is a blatant falsehood! Our client has not changed this cloth since June 2021 he has been in the DSS facility till date.
“It is pertinent to inform the public at this juncture that even our client’s family voluntarily bought his prayer shawls and holy book, which items meant for prayers were submitted for the detaining authority’s scrutiny but they vehemently rejected the items and consequently returned them to us, insisting that they will procure the said items for him. Till date, the DSS has woefully failed and/or refused to provide our client with these items, even when the Court recently ordered that our Client be allowed to practice his religion.
“The fact that our client’s potassium level is depleted, which is a serious medical condition that the medical department of the DSS is struggling day and night to address is beyond denial.
Onyendu’s blood sample has been drawn for well over 21 times for laboratory examinations but till date, no solution is in sight. Their trial and errors has continued unabated.
“To be very fair to the DSS, from June 2021 when our client was taken into custody up until 10th November 2021, when he was openly threatened in court by one of the DSS personnel that escorted him to court, our client never complained to us that he was either being poorly fed or starved.
“However, since that officer boasted in open court that he would deal with Onyendu during the altercation, which threat was captured in a short clip, they started feeding him with poorly prepared food, and later graduated to starving him. If they have reverted back to status quo, it may be after we raised alarm, but this is still subject to confirmation,” Ejiofor’s statement read in part.