By Favour Goodness
Aloy Ejimakor, special counsel for the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has revealed that the detention facility of the Department of State Services (DSS) does not have the right medical facility to take care of the IPOB leader’s health conditions.
The lawyer revealed that the pro-Biafra secessionist leader has a heart condition called ‘heart murmur’ and was receiving treatment in a Texas hospital in the United States early this year.
He also disclosed that Kanu contacted a hospital in Kenya in May over the same heart condition before he was abducted and renditioned by the Nigerian authorities, adding that he has ‘extreme hypertension’ which made him lose weight.
The lawyer affirmed that the obstructive, uncomfortable and degrading condition of the custody facility of the nation’s secret police has worsened Kanu’s health condition.
Ejimakor said this while speaking in an exclusive interview session with BBC Pidgin at the weekend.
He said, “I don’t see any remarkable difference between the Nnamdi Kanu of the old and the Nnamdi Kanu of 21st of October. The only thing I understand, and I could say was that he has lost a lot of weight.
“Everybody noticed so I do believe that the loss of weight has a whole lot to do with the conditions of his detention in Nigeria, which is very restrictive and uncomfortable, and very degrading. I think also, it is indicative of what he passed through in Kenya when he was renditioned there in June 2021.
“Before his rendition, Nnamdi Kanu was receiving treatment for a heart condition called Heart Murmur. And he has an extreme form of hypertension. His medical report is a matter for public consumption through the facilities and processes we filed in that regard. He was receiving treatment in Texas, United States back in February this year for that. And when he entered Kenya sometime in May, he also made contact with a hospital in Kenya to treat these conditions. And these conditions persist.
“Our thesis, our position is that the DSS facility is a poster exemplar of the detention facilities in Nigeria are like in terms of inadequate medical facilities. I don’t believe the DSS facility has the medical competence to take care of his medical condition which we considered life-threatening.”
Speaking about the trial, Ejimakor said, “We were not given enough time to study the amend charges, so as to let our client respond well. But the Judge wanted a plea to be taken, and of course, a plea was taken. And I don’t think that has prejudiced the challenges we have with these charges which will come up on Nov 10.”
In his response to the atmosphere in the courtroom, he said, “What happened was that he took a while before they brought him inside. So when they brought him inside, he wasn’t in chains. If you recall on June 29, 2021, when they presented him, subsequent to his rendition, he was in chains, he was in manacles and that was unconstitutional. You shouldn’t be doing that to suspect.
“Nigerian constitution says you shouldn’t do that to a suspect, on Oct 21, they didn’t. He wasn’t in manacles, he wasn’t in handcuffs. So he walked freely inside the confines of the courtroom.
“He received a salutation from his counsel and gathered other people who were in the court and had the opportunity to snap pictures with him. He was in a more relaxed atmosphere than the last time he was presented in court.”