Court Grants Kanu’s Request For Access To Doctor

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The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, has granted the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu, the permission to apply for an order of mandamus to compel the Department of State Services, DSS, to allow him have unhindered access to his medical doctor.

Trial Justice Binta Nyako gave the ruling on Wednesday after she heard an ex-parte application the embattled IPOB leader filed through his team of lawyers led by Mike Ozekhome, SAN, and Ifeanyi Ejiofor.

While adjourning the matter till February 21, the court, directed Kanu’s legal team to serve all the relevant processes on both the DSS and its Director General, who were cited as 1st and 2nd Respondents in the matter.

Kanu, in the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/ 2341/2022, said he would need his doctors to conduct an independent examination to ascertain his state of health.

Specifically, he is praying to the court for an order, granting him leave to, “apply for judicial review in the form of an order of Mandamus, compelling the Respondents to allow the Applicant unhindered access to his medical doctors to enable them to conduct an independent examination of his present deteriorating health condition, as earlier ordered by the Federal High Court, Abuja on the 21st day of October 2021; and as required by the express provisions of section 7 of the Anti-Torture Act, 2017”.

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As well as, “an order of this Honourable Court granting leave to the Applicant to apply for judicial review in the form of an order of Mandamus, compelling the Respondents to avail the Applicant with all his medical records, from the 29th day of June 2021, till date”.

Kanu listed some of the records he would require from the DSS, including; his admission records, medical and clinical notes, nursing notes, observation charts and documentation during treatment or stay-in-hospital, laboratory test results, pharmaceutical records, radiological scans, images and reports, blood transfusion records, physiotherapy, and rehabilitative treatment records, clinical findings, as well as diagnosis and treatment prescribed records.

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On grounds upon which he applied, Kanu noted that the trial Justice Nyako had on October 21, 2021, ordered that he should be allowed access to three persons of his choice, including his medical doctors.

Kanu argued that section 7 of the Anti-Torture Act, 2017, provided that a person arrested, detained, or undergoing custodial investigation, shall have the right to demand a physical and psychological examination by an independent and competent doctor of his own choice after interrogation, which shall be conducted outside the influence of the Police or security forces.

“The Respondents have repeatedly denied the Applicant access to medical doctors of his choice to independently examine him, contrary to the order of the court made on the 21st October 2021; and the express provisions of Section 7 of the Anti-Torture Act, 2017”, he added.

In a verifying affidavit that was deposed to by one Chimmuanya Emenari, Kanu told the court that before the time he was abducted in Kenya, and extra-ordinarily rendered back to Nigeria, he visited a Specialist Cardiologist every week for medical examination and treatment.

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“Medical Reports containing the medical history of the Applicant as was issued by medical specialists managing the Applicant before his abduction in Kenya and extraordinary rendition to Nigeria are hereby attached and variously marked as Exhibits MNK 3, MNK 4, and MNK 5.

“That although the Applicant has been discharged by the appellate court and his further detention prohibited, the Applicant is still being held in solitary confinement in the custody of the Respondents, where he is exposed to daily mental and psychological torture and degradation of his human person”.

Kanu alleged that upon his “abduction” in Kenya, he was subjected to various forms of brutal torture and inhuman treatment and degradation, all of which worsened his health condition, under which he suffered a mild cardiac arrest before he was “smuggled back into Nigeria”.

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