Mike Ozekhome, senior counsel to Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), has told the Supreme Court that he is scared that his client might die in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS).
Speaking on Thursday during the hearing of Kanu’s case, Ozekhome told the apex court that the IPOB leader is very sick and requires a surgical operation.
The lawyer asked the court to rule in favour of the transfer of Kanu from DSS custody to Kuje correctional centre so that he can begin treatment.
“My Lords, Nnamdi Kanu is sick, he has been approved for surgery but they have refused to release him for treatment,” BBC News Pidgin quoted Ozekhome as saying.
“We are pleading for him to be transferred from DSS custody to Kuje correctional centre so that he can begin treatment like others. He’s getting really sick, I’m scared he may die in the custody of DSS. Dead bodies are not prosecuted.”
Reacting to Ozekhome’s plea, the apex court said God will keep the IPOB leader alive and that he will not die in detention.
The court said even if it proceeds to hear the appeal, there is no space within its calendar to write and deliver the verdict within the 90-day deadline.
“Nnamdi Kanu will not die in detention. God will keep him alive and his blood won’t be in your hands,” the court said.
The apex court added that the court will hear all the motions in the case on the resumption of hearing on September 14.
The IPOB leader has been in DSS since he was brought back from Kenya on June 19, 2021.
Subsequently, the federal government filed terrorism charges against Kanu.
On April 8 2022, Binta Nyako, a federal high court judge in Abuja, struck out eight of the 15 counts in the charge.
The remaining seven counts were later quashed by the court of appeal on October 13, 2022.
On October 28, 2022, the court of appeal granted a stay of execution on its verdict which discharged Kanu of terrorism charges filed against him by the federal government.
Kanu and his lawyers are at the Supreme Court to appeal the verdict of the court of appeal.