Ifeanyi Ejiofor, lawyer to detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, has said the failure of the Department of State Services (DSS) to produce the IPOB leader on July 26, 2021 should not repeat itself as the whole world awaits the court trial on Thursday.
The lead counsel to the IPOB leader added that he and his team would not condone any form of harassment, molestation or threat by the security operatives against Kanu’s supporters.
While he charged the supporters of the Pro-Biafra separatist leader to act within the confines of the law, he also said anything short of fair hearing and physical appearance would aggravate the current agitations.
Ejiofor disclosed these in a press briefing statement ahead of Kanu’s trial tomorrow, which was made available to newsmen on Wednesday.
He accused the Nigerian government and its security agents for arresting and detaining Kanu’s supporters including a lawyer in July.
The statement partly read, “That security agents ostensibly to be deployed to man the court and its environs, or detailed to provide security on this 21st day of October, 2021, should be manifestly civil in their conduct towards the civilian populace who are expected to throng the Court in their numbers in solidarity.
“It is on record today, that over 20 persons all of Ebonyi State indigenes/extraction, including a lawyer, who were in court on the 26th day of July, 2021, to witness the hearing on this case were intercepted and arrested on their way back home, at Lokoja by the Nigerian security agents, and till date, they are still being held in various detention facilities of the Nigerian security agents without access to their lawyers and family members.
“Though we have commenced legal action in court against the security formations still detaining them in their various detention facilities; this is indeed, how low the state can go in gross violation of citizen’ rights without these infractions being accounted for. But, be assured that justice will prevail for these dehumanised citizens in the end.
“It is therefore, to be noted that court premises, particularly the court-room is not a barrack or police station where rules of engagement are treated with levity, and people subjected to all forms of inhuman treatment.
“We wish to note very strongly, that the atmosphere of fear, molestation, intimidation and harassment of civilians in and around the court premises should be jettisoned, as many foreign observers have arrived in the country to witness this all important trial of a political prisoner.
“We wish to remind the Security Agents that it was in a period such as this in 2015 and 2016 respectively, that citizens who merely came out in their numbers for show of solidarity with our Client on the day he was brought to Court, were massacred in their numbers at Ngwa National High School Aba, Abia State; Afor Nkpor, Onitsha Head-bridge, and Ziks Avenue in Anambra State.
“We do not want a repeat of such gory incident, particularly now that people have chosen to remain indoors on this date in solidarity with our Client.
“We also wish to state that the current tension and regular Monday sit-at-home being observed by our people in the South East, despite the exercise being called off by our Client’s peaceful movement, is steadily gaining momentum because our people are yet to see and believe that our Client Onyendu Mazi Nnamdi Kanu is still alive.
“We demand for justice, fair hearing/trial and fair play, which will not only be done in the open Court but manifestly be seen to have been done by an average person watching from close proximity.
“On this note; arrest, molestation, rough handling and maltreatment of harmless civilians and sympathisers who are to be in court in show of solidarity, should not be allowed.”