Published19 October 2021
The Senator representing Anambra South Senatorial District, Ifeanyi Ubah, on Monday approached a Federal High Court in Abuja to seek an order to allow him to visit the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, in the custody of the Department of State Service.
Ubah, in company with a member of Kanu’s legal team, Maxwell Opara, said he had made several attempts to see Kanu without success.
He therefore asked the court to grant him leave to visit the detainee as part of his oversight legislative functions.
He is also seeking an order to compel the DSS to allow him access to its detention facility for the purpose of visiting Kanu.
He also asked the court to grant him other requests that it may deem fit to make in the circumstances of the case.
In the affidavit in support of his motion on notice, Ubah said he is a senator from the South-East geopolitical zone where the detainee hails from.
The affidavit read, “That I state that as a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, it is one of my responsibilities to ensure the promotion of the Constitution of Nigeria and other laws of Nigeria.
“That I know that the defendant in this matter was arrested and brought into Nigeria by the Department of State Services of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and since he was brought into Nigeria, he has been detained at the detention facility of the DSS pending his trial.
“That I know that by the Constitution of Nigeria, every citizen, including the defendant, that is charged with an offence is presumed innocent until the charge be proved.
“That I know that the defendant was charged with several offences and the DSS had only produced him on one occasion in court.
“That as a senator from the South-East geopolitical zone of Nigeria, I state that the defendant is from the South-East.
“Since the arrest and detention of the defendant, there had been serious agitation aimed at pressing home his release and this had degenerated into proclamation of sit-at-home orders in the South- East; a situation which is crippling the economy of the South East.
“That I know that the sit-at-home orders are a medium of expression of solidarity to the detained defendant and same has been hijacked by unknown criminal elements who are now terrorising the South-East and engaging in wanton killings, assassinations and burning of valuable properties.
“That I state that the sit-at-home orders have gravely affected the economy of the South-East and had often led to the killing of flouters, arson and assassination of notable persons by a terror group called unknown gunmen.”
He added, “That there is an allegation that all the above criminalities are being championed by the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra under the leadership of the detained defendant, an allegation which has been denied severally; yet the situation continues to worsen.
“That as a senator from the South-East geopolitical zone of Nigeria, I took it upon myself in carrying out my oversight legislative functions to visit the defendant at the DSS detention facility.
“I want to ascertain from him if he is involved in any way in what is happening in the South-East and to seek ways of amicable settlement of the separatist agitation in the South-East in the overall interest of Nigeria.
“That at the DSS detention facility, I was denied access to the defendant and directed to approach this court to obtain permission before I could be allowed access to him.
“That I state that the action of the DSS in denying me access to visit and amicably intervene and provide solutions to the lingering sit-at-home orders, securities issues and violence in the South East is a disservice to the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”