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Court Orders Kanu Not to Wear Isi Agu, SSS To Release His Reading Glasses

A Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered the State Security Service (SSS) to allow the self-acclaimed leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nmandi Kanu access to his reading glasses.

Justice Binta Nyako, in a ruling at the resumed hearing in Kanu’s treasonable felony trial on Tuesday before the Federal High Court, Abuja, rejected his instance on being allowed to wear Igbo traditional attire known as “isi agu.”

Kanu’s lead lawyer, Mike Ozekhome (SAN) at the commencement of proceedings around 1.30pm on Wednesday, complained that the SSS has failed to allow his client change his clothes despite an earlier order by the court.

Ozekhome also accused the SSS, in whose custody Kanu is being kept, of failing to provide his client with his reading glasses.

He claimed Kanu’s sight was threatened by his inability to make use of his reading glasses since he was re-arrested last June.

Ozekhome said: “My lord will still see the defendant in the same uniform which my lord warned against in the last proceedings.

“It will be recalled that they had on that day, alleged that he said that he preferred to wear the same cloth because it is a designers.

“However, since that time, the younger brother of the defendant, his lawyer and sister have gone three times with materials for him to change but they refused collecting them.

“So bad was it that Ejiofor (another lawyer in the defence team, Ifeanyi) had to call the Director of Legal Services and complained to him. The Director told him that he would do something about it, that he would contact the Director of Operations to ensure that the order was carried out.

“But since then, nothing has been done. They have not allowed him to change his clothes.

“My lord, since 2015, his glasses were taken from him. The one he wore before his extraordinary rendition from Kenya was also taken from him.

“Till now, he does not have glasses to wear and his eye sight is deteriorating. My lord we do not want the defendant to go blind, that is why we have decided to bring it to the attention of the court,” Ozekhome said.

Lawyer to the prosecution, Shuaib Labaran said the clothes brought by Kanu’s family had lion heart drawn on it, adding that such designs offend their operating procedures of the SSS.

Justice Nyako later asked Kanu to indicate the type of cloth he prefers to wear.

In response, Kanu said: “I want to wear the clothes of my people, “isi agu,’ a choice the judge turned down.

Meanwhile Kanu has filed fresh applications challenging the competence of the amended 15-count charge filed against him.

He is praying the court to quash the charge on the grounds that they are frivolous and that the alleged offences were committed outside Nigeria.

The prosecution has argued against the applications and prayed the court to dismiss them.

The court has adjourned till April 8 for ruling on whether or not to quash the charge.

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