By Ikechukwu Nnochiri, ABUJA
The Department of State Service, DSS, on Wednesday, explained to the Federal High Court in Abuja, why it stopped the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu, from receiving new clothes.
However, when DSS said they refused the clothes brought by Kanu’s younger brother because it had a lion’s head insignia, Kanu said it was the traditional attire of his people.
Kanu’s lead counsel, Chief Mike Ozekhome(SAN), said he had same clothes and see no reason why Kanu can’t wear it.
Trial Justice Nyako, while admitting that she equally owns the type of wear, stressed that she would not allow Kanu to wear it to court for his trial.
“The Defendant will not wear it in this my court. He can wear it to any other place, but not inside this my court,” she added.
Turning to Kanu who was in the dock, the trial judge asked him the type of clothes he would want.
“I want to wear the clothes of my people which is ‘Isi-Agu’,” Kanu replied.
“No, you will not wear it,” the judge countered him.
“But I can’t understand why I cannot wear it,” Kanu fired back.
Justice Nyako said he would allow Kanu to wear plain-coloured clothes or retain the one he has been wearing, if that was his wish.
“I do want to change, but they refused,” Kanu explained.
“Yes, because you want to wear something with insignia,” Justice Nyako noted.
Kanu had, Ozekhome, complained that despite an express order of the court, he was yet to have a change of clothing.
He had, since he was re-arrested in June 2021, wore the same Fendi designers jump suit to court for his trial.
At the resumed proceedings in the 15-count treasonable felony charge the Federal Government preferred against him, Kanu’s lawyer decried that the security agency refused to allow Kanu to receive new clothes his younger brother took to him.
DSS explains clothes brouhaha
Then, shortly before she fixed April 8 to rule on Kanu’s application for the charge against him to be quashed, trial Justice Binta Nyako summoned the Director of Legal Services, DSS, to explain why Kanu was denied access to new clothes and his eye glasses.
Responding, the DSS official told the court that the clothes were rejected because it contained an insignia that is associated with the IPOB.
He told the court that clothes that were brought for Kanu in detention had lion’s head emblazoned on them.
“My lord, I have been on the issue of his clothing for quite some time now. The issue was that they brought clothes with lion’s head.
“We looked at the clothes and said no. That this is why we are in court and it offends our standard of operation,” DSS said.
Continuing, the DSS Director said: “As at the time he was arrested, there was a bag that he had with him.
“When we brought that bag to him, he looked at the clothes inside it and said he does not want them.”
It was at this point the back and forth about the clothes started