It is no longer news that Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) was finally presented in court yesterday to face seven charges levied against him by the government. The charges were based on his activities during the period in which he openly professed to be the leader of IPOB. This was Kanu's first public appearance since his arrest and extradition to Nigeria about four months ago.
Nnamdi Kanu: Photo Credit: Premium Times.
As lawyers, spectators, and members of the South-East delegation to the trial awaited the arrival of Kanu, it was reported that there were orders from above that not all persons should be allowed entry into the court for the trial. Based on the order, the DSS barred some lawyers (not actively involved in the case), and two key Igbo leaders from entering the court
PUNCH also reported the story.
Daily Post reported that Igbo elder statesman and former governor of Anambra State, Chukwuemeka Ezeife, and Senator Ifeanyi Ubah, were both denied entry into the court premises by the DSS.
L-R: Ezeife and Ubah. Credit: The Whistler, ThisDay.
How did the DSS do this?
According to Daily Post, officials of the DSS threatened to shoot anyone who dared to force their way into the entrance of the courtroom, while also revealing that they were acting based on an order from above. The action of the DSS is not surprising though, as Nnamdi Kanu's case is a quite sensitive one, and the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, had in the past, revealed that only those actively involved in the case would be allowed into the courtroom.
Image is used for illustrative purposes.
However, I still think Ezeife and Ubah should not have been prevented from entering the court premises. Why?
Irrespective of Kanu's status as a criminal awaiting trial, he remains a son of the South-East; hence, the decision by Igbo leaders to send a delegation to oversee his trial. What message did the DSS pass by denying two key Igbo leaders access into the court?
Please share your thoughts and opinions below.
Video of Kanu’s lawyer lamenting that some lawyers were being prevented from entering the court:
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