One of the lawyers representing detained pro-Biafran leader Nnamdi Kanu has accused Nigeria’s Department of State Services (DSS) of making prison as uncomfortable as possible for his client.
Speaking to IBTimes UK, Ifeanyi Ejiofor alleged the DSS “invaded” Kanu’s cell in Kuje Prison, in the capital Abuja, on 12 April. After meeting with his client, who is standing trial on six counts of treasonable felony charges, Ejiofor said: “The DSS has been compelled to take measures to make the environment very uncomfortable for Kanu. They invaded his cell two days ago and they harassed him. The DSS has been going there every day and all these things are putting new pressure.
“Kanu is OK, but he is worried,” Ejiofor continued. “He is scared, of course. We don’t know what can happen to him tomorrow and we want to bring this to the attention of the international community.”
Kanu, director of Radio Biafra and head of the Indigenous People of Biafra (Ipob), was arrested in Lagos in October 2015 on conspiracy and terrorism charges, which were later dropped. He was then accused of treasonable felony.
During a December 2015 presidential media chat, President Muhammadu Buhari said Kanu would not be released amid fears he could jump bail and flee to the UK, as he holds both a British and a Nigerian passport.
Pro-Biafrans demand the independence of Biafran territories forcibly annexed to Nigeria during British colonisation, which ended in 1960. A Biafran Republic was established in 1967 and re-annexed to Nigeria in 1970, following a civil war that claimed between one and three million lives.
The Nigerian government has always maintained that Nigeria’s unity is a priority for the country and that although peaceful pro-Biafran protests are welcome, demanding the breakaway of the Biafran territories is against the constitution.