The counsel of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Namdi Kanu, said nine persons have been missing since last year after they visited his client in detention.The counsel, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, alleged the State Security Service, SSS, arrested and killed the persons.
He made the allegation at the Federal High Court, Abuja, where Kanu is facing a charge of treasonable felony.
Three others, David Nwawuisi, Benjamin Madubugwu and Chidiebere Onwudiwe, are being tried alongside Mr. Kanu.
Ejiofor told the court that the SSS arrested the nine supporters of IPOB after they visited his client sometime last year and has since neither charged them to court nor released them.
He accused the agency of being too dramatic in its dealings with the defendants and urged the court to take a stand on the matter.
Ejiofor also informed the court about an application he had filed challenging the charge against the defendants. He prayed the court to attend to the matter.
The lead prosecution counsel, S. M. Labaran, however objected to the application on the grounds that he had just been filed with the brief. He prayed the court for time to allow him submit his reply to the court.
Before proceeding with the application, counsel to the second defendant said his client had informed him that Labaran was among the people that interrogated him.
Labaran however said he had not known the defendant before becoming counsel on the matter.
Counsel to the fourth defendant, Maxuel Okpara, said he had been required to provide details about his residence as well as his hometown when he visited his client in court.
He prayed the court to note that the security of his family was threatened by the manner of his questioning by prison officials, when he visited his client.
He also informed the court that the clients had consistently been brought to court in handcuffs and asked for an order of the court forbidding the SSS from continuing with the practice.
Responding, the trial judge, Binta Nyako, told the lead prosecution counsel to inform his client not to bring the defendants to court in handcuffs.
The prosecution counsel expressed displeasure over the allegations made by the defendant counsel against him.
He prayed the court to explain to the defendants that he was only a party to the matter and that he had no other interest in the case than that of a lawyer doing his job.
He further said he had no prior knowledge of the allegations against his client and that he could only act based on what his brief.
The matter was adjourned till Thursday for hearing and ruling on Ejiofor’s application.