Nigeria’s intelligence community are against the demand by Nnamdi Kanu and his legal team to have him moved to the Kuje Prison from the Department of State Services (DSS) custody.
In court on Monday, his counsel Ifeanyi Ejiofor informed the media of three applications, including Kanu’s transfer to the correctional centre.
First: An expedited hearing in the case of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) leader.
The lawyer said Justice Binta Nyako explained that an approval is required from the Chief Justice of the Federal High Court to prosecute the trial due to the current vacation of judges.
Second: Ejiofor disclosed that he complained about DSS’s refusal to allow lawyers to regularly meet Kanu.
“We told the court that the detention authority, in this case, the DSS, should give us access to our client. We’ve not seen him. That has been agreed and we are going to see him soon“, he said.
The third: An application to get Kanu transferred to the Kuje Correctional Centre. “The application was made on July 14, 2021”, Ejiofor hinted.
Justice Nyako rejected the plea, insisting Kanu is safe, secure and being kept in good conditions at the DSS.
However, intelligence agencies are not comfortable with the request. They believe the motive is a jail break being “planned” by IPOB and its militant wing, Eastern Security Network (ESN).
An officer told PRNigeria that a grand plan of a massive attack on the Kuje Prison had been uncovered.
“They want him transferred to the prison so they can storm there as they have done to many Police Stations and Correctional Centres in the South-East in the last six months.
“Nnamdi Kanu celebrated the destruction when he emphasized via his Twitter account that no soul deserved to be locked up in any Nigerian prison. Imagine him now saying that’s where he prefers,” he said.
The source pointed out that prominent individuals arrested and detained at the DSS are normally given better treatment, compared to police cells.
The law enforcement circle asserts IPOB/ESN members carried out the assault on Imo Prison and Police Headquarters with sophisticated weapons such as General Purpose Machine Guns (GPMGs), Sub-Machine Guns (SMGs), AK49 rifles, Rocket Propelled Grenades (RPGs) and Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).
A separate source told DAILY POST on Tuesday that Kuje Prison may not be able to withstand a coordinated intrusion.
“I’m going to be sincere with you, the facility isn’t a place for a high-profile suspect like Nnamdi Kanu who has thousands of die-hard followers.
“Kuje Prison is not extremely fortified and you know it’s actually not within Abuja. So if there’s a situation, damage might have been done before reinforcement gets there.”
Nigerian authorities argue that foreign countries and partners agree that the carnage by IPOB and ESN, including the murder of security agents and civilians, justify Kanu’s arrest.
Kanu was intercepted in Kenya and repatriated on June 27, 2021 after years on the run. The outspoken separatist will be re-arraigned at the Federal High Court, Abuja, in October.