Lawmaker representing Anambra North Senatorial District, Senator Ifeanyi Uba, has approached the Federal High Court, Abuja, seeking an order to be allowed to visit the detained Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) leader, Nnamdi Kanu, in custody.
In the application, which was brought under Section 36(1) of the Nigerian Constitution, 1999 Constitution, as amended, and the inherent jurisdiction of the court as preserved vide section 6(6)(b) of the said Constitution, will be part of his oversight legislative function.
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Ubah maintained that his decision to meet with Kanu was in the interest of national peace and security given the growing insecurity and killings in the South East by a group known as “unknown gunmen”, which had been linked with IPOB.
IPOB has since denied the claim.
In an affidavit personally 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 a 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 a 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 accéss 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.”