Drama in court as DSS and judge insist Nnamdi Kanu can’t wear outfit with ‘lion head’ design


Drama in court as DSS and judge insist Nnamdi Kanu can’t wear outfit with ‘lion head’ design

The Department of State Services (DSS) says it cannot allow Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), to wear clothes with an insignia of a lion’s head.

The contentious outfit is known as ‘isi agu’ in south-east Nigeria. It is a traditional garb that is usually worn on special occasions.

Previously, Binta Nyako, judge of a federal high court in Abuja, had directed the DSS to allow the IPOB leader to have a bath whenever he wants, change his clothes, eat properly and practice his faith.

However, Shuaibu Labaran, counsel representing the federal government, told the court on the last adjourned date that Kanu insists on wearing the same outfit to court because it is designer.

At the commencement of trial on Wednesday, Mike Ozekhome, Kanu’s counsel, complained that despite an express order of the court, his client was yet to have a change of clothing.

He said the DSS stopped the defendant from receiving new clothes that were brought for him.

“My lord will still see the defendant in the same uniform which my lord warned against in the last proceedings,” he said.

“It will be recalled that they had alleged that he said he preferred to wear the same cloth because it is a designer.

“However, since that time, the younger brother of the defendant, his lawyer and sister have gone three times with materials for him to change but they refused to collect them.

“So bad was it that Ifeanyi Ejiofor(Kanu’s second lawyer) had to call the director of legal services and complained to him. the director told him that he would do something about it, that he would contact the director of operations to ensure that the order was carried out.

“But since then, nothing has been done. They have not allowed him to change his clothes.”


Responding, an official of the DSS told the court that the clothes were rejected because they contained an insignia that is associated with IPOB.

“My lord, I have been on the issue of his clothing for quite some time now. The issue was that they brought clothes with lion’s head,” he said.

“We looked at the clothes and said no, that this is why we are in court and it offends our standard of operation.

“As at the time he was arrested, there was a bag that he had with him. When we brought that bag to him, he looked at clothes inside it and said he does not want them.”

The judge, while admitting that she also owns a similar attire, however, stressed that she would not allow Kanu to wear it to court.

“The defendant will not wear it in this my court, he can wear it any other place, but not inside this my court,” she said.

The trial judge turned to Kanu, who was in the dock, and asked him what kind of cloth he wanted.


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