The Department of State Services (DSS) insisted it cannot allow leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) Nnamdi Kanu, to wear clothes with an insignia of a lion’s head popularly known as Isi Agu
It is called as ‘isi agu’ in south-east Nigeria, where it is a prominent outfit. When it comes to special occasions, it is customary to don this traditional attire.
Prior to this, Binta Nyako, a federal high court judge in Abuja, had ordered the DSS to allow the IPOB leader to take a bath anytime he wants, change his clothes, eat properly, and practice his religious beliefs.
The federal government’s attorney, Shuaibu Labaran, told the court on the most recent postponed date that Kanu insisted on wearing the same attire to court because it is a fashionable outfit. The court agreed.
At the start of the trial on Wednesday, Kanu’s attorney, Mike Ozekhome, expressed dissatisfaction with the fact that, despite an express order of the court, his client had not yet received a change of clothing.
He claimed that the DSS prevented the defendant from obtaining new garments that had been delivered to him.
According to him, “my lord will continue to see the defendant in the same uniform that my lord advised him against in the previous sessions.”
“It will be remembered that they had asserted that he had stated that he wanted to wear the same material because it was designed by him.
“However, since then, the defendant’s younger brother, his attorney, and sister have gone to him three times with things for him to change, but they have refused to accept them.
“It got to the point that Ifeanyi Ejiofor (Kanu’s second lawyer) had to phone the director of legal services and express his dissatisfaction with the situation.” In response, the director assured him that he would take appropriate action, and that he would call the director of operations to ensure that the order was carried out as directed.
“However, nothing has been done since that time. His clothing has been confiscated, and he is unable to change.”
‘I WANT TO WEAR THE CLOTH OF MY PEOPLE’ is an advertisement.
In response, a DSS employee informed the court that the clothing were rejected because they had an insignia linked with the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
The subject of his apparel has been on my mind for quite some time now, my lord. “The problem was that they had packed clothing with a lion’s head on it,” he explained.
The garments were examined, and we determined that they were not appropriate, and that this was the reason we were in court and that it violated our standard of operation.
“At the time of his arrest, he was in possession of a bag that contained evidence. As soon as we handed him the bag, he took a look at the clothes inside and declared that he did not want them.”
Though the judge acknowledged that she herself possessed a similar outfit, she made it clear that she would not permit Kanu to wear it in court.
In her words, “the defendant will not wear it in this my court; he may wear it anywhere else, but not within this my court.”
The trial judge approached Kanu, who was sitting in the dock, and inquired as to what kind of fabric he need.
In response, Kanu stated, “I want to wear the cloth of my people, which is Isi Agu.”
“No, you are not going to wear it,” the judge responded.
“However, I am baffled as to why I am unable to wear it,” Kanu answered.
In response, Nyako stated that she would enable Kanu to dress in ordinary clothing or to keep his current costume if he so desired.
KANUS VISION IS DETERIORATING.
Ozekhome also informed the court that his client’s eyesight is deteriorating, pointing out that Kanu’s spectacles were taken and broken when he was arrested, according to Ozekhome.
As a result, Nyako authorized the Department of Social Services to give him with a new pair of glasses.
“Try to locate his spectacles and make them available to him. In the event that you are unable to locate that particular one, get him another one,” Nyako said.
“When someone like me does not wear our glasses for an extended period of time, our vision begins to blur.
“Make sure you get him his spectacles by the next postponed date,” says the professor.