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A lawyer asks the ICRC to intervene

By Vincent Kalou

Nnamdi Kanu’s lawyer, Aloy Ejimakor, appealed to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) for humanitarian intervention with the federal government to grant the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) access to medical examination and independent care.

Ejimakor said Kanu was battling serious life-threatening health issues – heart disease and high blood pressure, which were aggravated by the mental and physical torture he was subjected to and his continued confinement.

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A letter entitled: “Urgent appeal for your humanitarian intervention with the Government of Nigeria to grant Mazi Nnamdi Kanu access to independent medical examination and care”, addressed to Yann Bonzon, Head of Delegation in Nigeria, Committee International Red Cross, Abuja, dated February 12, 2022, was made available to Saturday Sun. Ejimakor, through the firm Adulbert Legal Services, traced Kanu’s ordeal from his arrest in October 2015 and was charged with the crime of treason, stemming from his advocacy for the restoration of the state of Biafra until his release on bail in 2017, and following the military invasion in his Afaraukwu Ibeku, Abia State.

The letter that reads in part points out: “During the said military aggression, 28 people were killed and several others, including our client, were injured. Our client’s parents were seriously injured during the military invasion and both eventually succumbed to these injuries and are now overdue. This too has been widely reported in the media.

“During the military onslaught, our client managed to flee to a temporary safe place from where he eventually fled overseas in search of safe haven. In the meantime, the Nigerian Army declared him wanted, thus suggesting that he could be shot and killed wherever they found him in Nigeria.

“Our client is currently being held in solitary confinement with irregular and limited access to his lawyer and a few others only two days a week. An official from the British High Commission in Nigeria was allowed to visit him once after several months of refusal by the Nigerian government.

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“Upon arrival in Nigeria, our client was taken and detained at the State Security Services (SSS) Headquarters in Abuja, Nigeria. He spent the first night in the SSS detention center, sleeping on the floor with very bright electric light bulbs deliberately left on all night, causing him extreme body heat, sleep deprivation, and mental anguish.

“Our client has serious life-threatening health conditions, namely: heart disease and hypertension, which have been aggravated by the mental and physical torture he has suffered and by his continued isolation.

“Our client informs us that his blood has been drawn over 20 times without explanation and that he continues to feel apprehension and fear of being detained by those who participated in his extraordinary rendition.

“During our many visits with him, he told us that his health, especially his heart, was failing him and that he had severe breathing problems, his fingernails were cracking and he felt dizzy most of the time. Crucially, he told us that he was not receiving the necessary medical care even when the Nigerian government learned, through his medical examination in prison, that his heart had enlarged by 13%.We observed that his fingernails were cracking in fact, that he was having trouble breathing, looked very frail, sick, and generally a shadow of himself.

“His serious health problems require the urgent and constant attention of medical specialists and medication which is not given to him in the detention center. In these circumstances, he is daily confronted with the grim and imminent risk of losing his life in detention. and the risk increases with each passing day.

“In view of the above, we respectfully request that you extend your good offices to the Government of Nigeria to grant our client the opportunity for independent medical examination and care as soon as possible.