HURIWA wants United Nations to visit Nnamdi Kanu in DSS cell

Posted by News Express | 30 April 2022 | 359 times

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•Detained IPOB Leader Nnamdi Kanu


A civil rights advocacy group- Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), has expressed worry over allegations made by the detained leader of the now proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, that he was undergoing torture in the detention facility run by the Department of State Services (DSS).

Following these persistent complaints by Mazi Nnamdi Kanu of his maltreatment in the cells of the DSS which has been denied by the Nigeria secret police, HURIWA has, therefore, called on the United Nations, through her Country Representative, to pay a monitoring visitation to the detention facility of the DSS to ascertain the veracity or otherwise of these complaints.

HURIWA said that even as the Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court in Abuja, ordered the DSS to allow Kanu to change his clothes, there were allegations that this not been observed and that he was also facing starvation, according to the head of his legal team and human rights activist, Ifeanyi Ejiofor.

The rights group quoted Mr. Ejiofor as saying these in a statement issued after the routine visit to the DSS Headquarters in Abuja on Thursday evening.

Ejiofor noted that at the last adjourned date, being April 8, 2022, the issue of Kanu changing his clothes was raised and the Judge ordered that Onyendu’s clothes should be taken along by the DSS after the proceedings, and should be promptly handed over to him upon their return to the DSS facility.

But Ejiofor said: “Unfortunately, it is utterly disheartening to note that up until the time of our visit today, Onyendu has not been handed those clothes for a change.

“We were also, reliably informed by Onyendu that his meals are no longer served regularly. Onyendu barely eats once a day, and this situation is not helping his deteriorating medical condition.”

HURIWA said it was disconcerting that the DSS which is a creation of the law can deliberately flout the binding orders of a court of competent jurisdiction as alleged by the lawyers to the detainee, adding that the group was urging the United Nations, the European Union, the British High Commission to visit and inspect the condition of the detained leader of IPOB..

Besides, HURIWA said under international human rights laws, regarding the rights to health and education of prisoners, the United Nations said implementing the Nelson Mandela Rules also involves providing legal assistance and advice to States and prisoners alike, just as the body recalled that it was significant, given that the Protocol mandates United Nations experts to visit prisons to help improve conditions and prevent ill-treatment. 

Although the DSS has, on many occasions, denied those sets of allegations made by the legal representatives of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu but HURIWA said the frequency of the complaints should merit a high profile visit by the International organisations in Nigeria such as the UN, European Union and World's democracies such as the diplomats from Embassies of powerful nations with representation in Nigeria.

Source: News Express

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