Court Rejects Nnamdi Kanu’s Plea to Wear Igbo Traditional Attire in Custody

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Court Rejects Nnamdi Kanu's Plea to Wear Igbo Traditional Attire in Custody
Court Rules Against Nnamdi Kanu’s Suit

In a recent ruling, the Federal High Court in Abuja has once again rejected the plea made by Nnamdi Kanu, the embattled leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), to wear the traditional Igbo attire known as ‘isi agu’ while in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS).

Justice James Omotosho delivered the judgment on Thursday, stating that Kanu’s application lacked merit and therefore was denied. The court emphasized that the denial of wearing the Igbo traditional attire did not constitute a violation of human rights, as alleged by Kanu.

According to the court, Kanu failed to substantiate his claims in order to be granted the requested reliefs. The judge further highlighted that there was no evidence presented to demonstrate that Kanu was being discriminated against or that other inmates were enjoying privileges or rights denied to the applicant.

“The applicant’s case is based on mere speculation without any solid evidence. The suit lacks merit and is consequently refused,” stated Justice Omotosho.

Kanu’s counsel, Maxwell Okpara, had filed a fundamental human rights enforcement suit on behalf of his client, seeking a declaration that the DSS is obligated to respect the fundamental rights of citizens while carrying out their lawful duties. Kanu also requested a declaration from the court affirming his entitlement to human rights while in the custody of the respondents.

In response, the respondents, which include the Director General of the DSS, the Services, and the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), argued that they had not infringed upon Kanu’s constitutional rights in any way. They cited a previous ruling by Justice Binta Nyako, who is presiding over Kanu’s trial for treasonable felony, which had prohibited him from wearing the Igbo traditional attire. Granting Kanu’s request, they contended, would promote the cause for which he is being held.

It is noteworthy that Justice Nyako had previously rejected a similar application by Kanu to wear his traditional Igbo title attire, which displayed the insignia of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). The suit was identified as FHC/ABJ/CS/1585/2021.

The ruling by the Federal High Court is seen as another setback for Nnamdi Kanu, who has been in custody since his arrest in June 2021. Kanu’s trial has drawn significant attention and debate, with various groups expressing divergent opinions regarding his detention and the charges brought against him.

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