By Olalekan Awojodu Abuja
A National Assembly member representing Anambra North Senatorial District, Senator Ifeanyi Uba, has asked a Federal High Court Abuja, for an order permitting him to visit the self acclaimed leader of the Indigenous People of Biafran IPOB Nnamd Kanu currently in the custody of the Department of State Service DSS.
Uba sought order of the court on Monday following the alleged refusal of DSS authorities to allow him access the detained Biafran leader.
A motion on notice to that effect was brought pursuant to section 36(1) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended and under the inherent jurisdiction of the court as preserved vide section 6(6)(b) of the said Constitution.
In the motion marked FHC/ABJ/CR/383/2021, the plaintiff (Uba) among others, is praying for an order of court granting him leave to visit the defendant, Nnamdi Kanu, in DSS custody, as part of his oversight legislative function.
“An order of the court directing the complainant and/or the Department of State Services (DSS) to allow the said Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Uba access to their detention facility for purposes of visiting the defendant, Nnamdi Kanu”.
In an affidavit deposed to by Senator Uba, it was stated that “there had been serious agitation aimed at pressing home his release and this had degenerated into proclamation of Sit-At-Home orders in the South East; a situation which is crippling the economy of the South East.
“That I know that the Sit-At-Home orders are a medium of expression of solidarity to the detained Defendant and same has been hijacked by unknown criminal elements who are now terrorizing the South East and engaging in wanton killings, assassinations and burning of valuable properties.
“That I state that the Sit-At-Home orders have gravely affected the economy of the South East and had often led to the killing of flouters, arson and assassination of notable persons by a terror group called unknown gunmen.
“That there is an allegation that all the above criminalities are being championed by the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra under the leadership of the detained Defendant; an allegation which has been denied severally; yet the situation continues to worsen.
“That as a Senator from the South East Geo-Political Zone of Nigeria, I took it upon myself in carrying out my oversight legislative functions to visit the defendant at the DSS detention facility to ascertain from him if he is involved in any way in what is happening in the South East and to seek way of amicable settlement of the separatist agitation in the South East in the overall interest of Nigeria.
“That at the DSS detention facility, I was denied access, to the defendant and directed to approach this court to obtain permission before I could be allowed access to the Defendant.
“That I state that the action of the DSS in denying me access to visit and amicably intervene and provide solutions to the lingering Sit-At-Home orders, securities issues and violence in the South East is a disservice to the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“That I visited and intend to visit the defendant in my capacity as a senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and for purposes of attempting to ameliorate and fashion a meeting point or create a discussion table aimed at reducing tension and quelling the agitation and killings in the South East.
“That the visit is part of my oversight legislative function, which I am empowered by the Constitution of Nigeria to perform.
“That I state that my interest in seeking to see the defendant is in the interest of national peace and security” the affidavit stated.
No date has been fixed for determination of the motion.
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