The Department of State Services (DSS) has said leader of the proscribed separatists group, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu, was not being maltreated in its custody contrary to claims by members of IPOB and Nnamdi Kanu’s lawyer.
DSS, Public Relations Officer (PRO), Dr Peter Afunanya, debunked the allegation while addressing journalists, Tuesday at the DSS Headquarters, Abuja.
“It (the Service) denies all the inciting allegations by IPOB and states that: Nnamdi Kanu is not, in any way, maltreated in custody.
“Accusations of maltreatment negate the Service’s Standard Operation Procedure on the implementation of rights of a suspect;
“Nnamdi Kanu enjoys full luxury in the holding facility incomparable to any of its type anywhere in the country. He is accorded full rights and privileges. He is never denied his right of worship or freedom from his select religious practice.
“Adequate attention is paid to Kanu’s health. He has unhindered access to the best medical care and doctors. Kanu, himself, has confirmed to his visitors that the Service has never, in any way, maltreated him.
“He even confirmed this to the quartet of Senators Ike Ekweremadu and Enyinnaya Abaribe; Bishop Sunday Onuoha of the Methodist Church, Nigeria, and Co-Chair, Interfaith Dialogue Forum for Peace and Ambassador Okechukwu Emuchay, MFR, Secretary-General, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, who saw him on Wednesday, December 8, 2021.
“The story of Kanu being starved is fallacious. He could not have been starved as he enjoys meals of his choice. That he is not allowed change of clothing is also false. He is regularly allowed change of clothing as against what is presented to the public by IPOB propagandists.”
According to the Spokesperson, “Assuming he is being maltreated, how come his visitors told him he was looking well? All the allegations of violation of his rights as a suspect, victimization and starvation among others are not true.
“It is unfortunate that some elements have decided to use outright misinformation to represent the state of affairs. Those who make these false stories do so to attract undue attention for the singular purpose of achieving a desired end.
“Rather than focus on how he should get justice, Kanu’s legal team and some mischievous elements among them have chosen to use fake news to mislead the public. While the Court in its wisdom ordered that Kanu be remanded in the safer DSS Custody, some of his legal representatives, for reasons best known to them, preferred Kuje Prison and have failed to explain the rationale for such choice.
“It may interest the public to note that a particular lawyer among Kanu’s team is feasting on the matter such that one can conclude that his interest is beyond getting justice for his client. Be that as it may, the Court has the final say on the matter.”
Afunanya futher stated: “Instructively, the media is reminded of its duty in national security. As influencers, media practitioners are called upon to use their platforms to pursue peaceful coexistence.
“They must commit themselves to the unity of the country and shun misinformation, fake news, hate speech and such other misleading narratives. Journalists, while discharging their constitutional roles, are enjoined to be objective, conflict-sensitive and patriotic in their reportage.”