Omoyele Sowore, presidential candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC) on Sunday wished the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu a happy birthday.
Sowore also used the occasion of Kanu’s 55th birthday to demand the immediate and unconditional release of the separatist leader, who has been in the detention facility of Nigeria’s secret police, Department of State Services (DSS) since June 2021.
The IPOB leader is standing trial before Justice Binta Nyako on charges bordering on terrorism and treasonable felony.
Describing the IPOB leader’s detention as unjust, the activist posted on his Twitter and Facebook pages, “Today is @MaziNnamdiKanu’s birthday, however he is being unjustly held in detention by the lawless and inhuman @MBuhari regime because he stood up for self-determination. We demand that @MaziNnamdiKanu be freed unconditionally! #FreeNnamdiKanuNow #WeCantContinueLikeThis
On Thursday, the same DSS refused to grant Sowore access to meet with the detained Kanu, despite receiving a formal invitation from the self-determination agitator.
Sowore, who was at the DSS headquarters in Abuja, was listed among those expected to visit Kanu as requested by the IPOB leader.
The activist who arrived at the facility at about 2:07pm was asked to wait in the visitor’s waiting room till around 4:40pm when eventually the operatives denied him access to see Kanu.
While narrating his ordeal at the DSS facility to journalists, Sowore said Kanu’s father-in-law who was also at the facility to visit the IPOB leader kept his meeting brief to enable him (Sowore) to take his turn since the service could permit only one person at a time.
“His lawyer made an application for me to visit him with a lawyer who is also his father-in-law. His father-in-law when he came back said Nnamdi Kanu was eager to see me and that was why he left on time to enable me go in and see him.
“I waited for another 20 minutes and we had to approach them to know what was going on. They said, ‘Sorry, Mr. Sowore, the time of visitation has elapsed,’ and that was how I was denied opportunity to see him.
“So I am going to be pushing for a visitation but this time around when I am going, I am going to invite everybody to come with me, anybody who is willing to come.
“But I am very disappointed. They think they can play games with some of us who are interested in seeing him free as soon as possible. He hasn’t committed any crime to have warranted him extradited from Kenya.
“I know how sensitive they are about this. They have attacked me several times. But what is important is his rights and the rights of his people, the rights of Africans to seek whenever they want; their rights either to self-determination, liberty, freedom of association and movement that are not only enshrined even in our constitution but also guaranteed by international organisations,” Sowore narrated on Thursday.