By Chinonso Alozie – Owerri
The Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, lead counsel, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, on Saturday alleged that the operatives of the Director of Security Services, DSS, delayed the IPOB’s lawyers from seeing the IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu just for the former governor of Abia State, Orji Uzor Kalu, to have suspected private meeting with him (IPOB leader).
The IPOB’s lawyer disclosed this in a statement obtained by Vanguard in Owerri.
He said it was the genesis of the war of words that has been on between the former governor and the IPOB’s legal team.
On how the name of the former governor entered into the visitor’s list to DSS headquarters, he told Vanguard; “On or about 11 am on the 29th of November, 2021, I received a phone call from a reliable source. The latter informed me that a certain Orji Uzor Kalu expressed a desire to see my client, Onyendu Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.
“The intended visit was ostensibly in further pursuit of the political solution to the unconditional release of my client. As I had before then resolved not to constitute myself an impediment to the exploration of any such political solution, I welcomed the idea.
“Consequently, I was constrained to substitute the name of one of the persons already scheduled for the visit for the name of Orji Uzor Kalu. I then proceeded to submit a fresh list containing the name of the latter to the relevant authorities on or about noon of the aforementioned date.
“When the team of lawyers who were scheduled to visit my client arrived at the Reception Hall of the headquarters of the Department of State Security, DSS, on or about 1.55 pm of the aforementioned date, they were informed that Orji Uzor Kalu, whose name appeared on the list at the 11th hour, would not be allowed to see Onyendu Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.
“The reason for this decision was clear. As the name of Orji Uzor Kalu was merely submitted on the day of the intended visit, and not earlier as was the practice, he could not, without permission and or clearance from superior authority, be granted access to visit my client in the detention facility of the DSS.
“Orji Kalu’s hypocritical pretensions was worsened by the fact that he is a politician(and a wily one at that) and is not related to Onyendu Mazi Nnamdi Kanu either by affinity or consanguinity.
This position taken by the Detaining Authority did not come as a surprise. So I thought.”
How the trouble started Ejiofor said: “Long before the 29th of November, 2021, it consistently and variously denied certain persons of sundry political persuasions, and proven elder statesmen, access to Onyendu Mazi Nnamdi Kanu in DSS custody. A case in point is that of Dr Chukwuemeka Ezeife, former Governor of Anambra State.
The inclusion of the name of Orji Uzor Kalu at the 11th hour in the fresh list submitted to the DSS on the day of the intended visit had the effect of temporarily stultifying the access operatives of the DSS could easily have afforded the lawyers.
“So I thought honestly. But there was more to it. The lawyers were kept waiting till on or about 3.20 pm of that day when they were finally cleared to ingress the detention facility. At first, I thought this delay to be inexplicable and unreasonable, but, with hindsight, I concluded that the delay was deliberate.
“It was occasioned by the fact that Orji Uzor Kalu had earlier arrived at the DSS facility and had gone to visit Onyendu Mazi Nnamdi Kanu at the time the lawyers were forced to wait for a pretended reason.
“I then became convinced that the objection that was taken at the inclusion of the name of Orji Uzor Kalu at the 11th hour in the list of persons scheduled for the visit was a ruse, a smokescreen, and a deceptive ploy, ingeniously but mischievously contrived to hoodwink us. It had that temporary effect.”
“The pretended reason was designed to keep us waiting while Orji Uzor Kalu had his interaction with Onyendu. The delay of about two hours was unjustified. Orji Uzor Kalu, whose name was on the list of visitors that were submitted and whose name was deceptively objected to by operatives of the DSS, had earlier arrived at the DSS facility and had, in an extremely surreptitious manner, gained access to Onyendu Mazi Nnamdi Kanu in custody! Lawyers that congregated for the visit stared with open mouths when they gained access to Onyendu Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and were informed by him that Orji Uzor Kalu had earlier visited him that day.”
He also alleged that the “DSS operatives at the Reception Hall were not let in on the surreptitious access that was granted to Orji Uzor Kalu. They did not know when the latter arrived at the facility and when he stole in to see Onyendu. It is for Orji Uzor Kalu to explain honestly how he gained access to Onyendu.
“If Orji Kalu did not go through the proper channel, which starts from the reception, upon the submission of a list containing the names of already scheduled visitors, how then did he gain access to Onyendu Mazi Nnamdi Kanu? Why were the extant protocols not followed?
“We hereby invite the relevant authorities of the Department of State Security to investigate this. Further, Onyendu Mazi Nnamdi Kanu was not informed beforehand that Orji Uzor Kalu was at the facility to see him. The information that was given to him, which he conveyed to me, was to the effect that an important personality was at the facility to see him. The identity of the so-called important personality was not disclosed to him.”