The Chief Whip of the Nigerian Senate, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu said he did not violate any law by visiting the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, in detention.
Kalu, a former Abia State governor was reacting to a claim by Barr. Ifeanyi Ejiofor, Nnamdi Kanu’s lawyer that he violated the law by visiting the IPOB leader in the Department of State Security detention.
According to him, Ejiofor’s annoyance must have been from the fact that he was not around to listen to his conversation with Kanu during the visitation.
Ejiofor had in a statement said the senator violated court order by visiting his client in custody of the DSS in Abuja.
This came after he visited Kanu at the DSS detention on Monday.
But while reacting to the claim by Kanu’s counsel, the former governor expressed disappointment, noting that Ejiofor was even aware of his visit to Kanu in detention.
“I also read a report stating that I took pictures with Nnamdi and also tweeted the same on my Twitter account,” Kalu said in a statement on Wednesday.
“For the record, the Department of State Services (DSS) did not break any protocol during my visit as I fulfilled all the requirements expected of me before I saw Nnamdi. The DSS affirmed that I cannot see Nnamdi without the application of his lawyers which I diligently did.
“Probably, Barrister Ejiofor may have expected me to arrive at 4pm for a scheduled 2pm visit. What many people refer to as ‘African time’ is not my style. I strictly keep to time and it is a discipline I have upheld since my childhood.
“I arrived at the DSS headquarters at 1:50 PM; went through the necessary protocols and met Nnamdi at 2:17 PM. I stayed with him until 2: 57 PM. Even though he asked that I stayed longer but I had to leave because of other engagements.
“During my visit to Nnamdi, I did not even take my mobile phone along and no photograph was taken. The photograph people are circulating was the one I took with him when I visited him at the Nigerian Correctional Service Medial Security Custodial Centre, Kuje in 2016 and later, his parents in 2017. My Twitter account has also been inactive.
“I don’t also know if Barrister Ejiofor is aware that Nnamdi is not under compulsion to see anyone. If he didn’t want to see me, he could have as well declined, but he was glad to see me and also expressed deep appreciation.
“Ejiofor’s anger seems to be borne out of vexation of not being around to listen to our conversations.”
Kalu said Ejiofor was behaving like someone benefiting from the crisis in the South-East.
He, however, asked him to think about the wellbeing and security of the people living in the region, adding that a peaceful protest could solve the matter without crashing the regional economy.