One of the lawyers representing Nnamdi Kanu has alleged that some Department of State Services (DSS) operatives made a threat on his life while trying to settle a conflict between the officials and the defendant’s family.
Ifeanyi Ejiofor made this revelation while being asked by his co-advocate, Chuks Muoma, what transpired between the DSS and Kanu’s family members on Monday.
Ejiofor told the court that some relatives of the first defendant had approached the court but were denied entrance by security officials. He said it was at this point, he noticed the altercation when he tried to intercede between the parties that one of the DSS officials threatened that he would kill him.
He urged the court to put it on record that the DSS officials in the court had threatened him. The prosecuting counsel, Mohammed Diri, informed the court that he received an information, contained in a piece of paper, which he showed to the judge, from the DSS personnel that some agitators had planned at abducting the accused persons, having had an altercation with DSS officials at the court premises
Diri further told the court that witnesses were afraid, and said they were already receiving threats on their lives, and that although they were ready to testify in the case, but unless their identity was shielded they cannot come to testify in the matter.
The prosecution said the witnesses requested that their identities be shielded from members of the public who might want to watch proceedings of the trial.
To this, Diri asked that Moses Idakwo, a prosecuting counsel who had also been earlier granted leave by the court be called on to give account of the incident.
Muoma in his objection said it would not be right to call on Idakwo as he was not an eyewitness in the incident, but rather asked that the official who brought the written information be placed in the witness box for examination.
He also said his team member, Ejiofor, would be de-robed to also testify on the threat. The judge having taken submissions from both parties said: “If everyone is afraid and being threatened then I think we have to call on celestial being to handle this matter.”
He said the threat to a lawyer’s life couldn’t be taken lightly, while Muoma would be expected to reply on the issue of witnesses raised by the prosecution on resumption of the hearing, upon which the court stood down the matter for 30 minutes.
He said the complainant in this matter was the Attorney General of the Federation, who is the chief legal prosecutor of the state represented by the director of public prosecution, Mohammed Diri and his team.
The matter was subsequently adjourned to March 9, as screens not facial masks, would be used to protect the witnesses during examination and cross-examination.
Kanu is being charged for felony, illegal possession of firearms and assisting in the maintenance of an unlawful society, alongside Benjamin Madubugwu and David Nwawuisi.