On Thursday, the Federal High Court in Abuja ordered the Department of State Services (DSS) to grant Nnamdi Kanu, the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), access to his medical records. The court affirmed that Kanu has the constitutional right to access the medical records he requested and to be examined by the medical doctors of his choice.
Justice Nyako stated that the independent medical examination of Kanu by his personal physicians should be supervised by the DSS, with the entire process recorded and sealed for security purposes.
The judgment came after Kanu filed a suit through his legal team, led by Prof. Mike Ozekhome, SAN. In the suit, he sought an order compelling the DSS to allow him unhindered access to his medical doctors for an independent examination of his health condition. He also requested access to his comprehensive medical records from June 29, 2021, to the present.
Kanu listed the specific medical records he needed, such as admission records, medical and clinical notes, laboratory test results, and radiological scans, among others. He argued that his previous requests for access to his doctors were denied by the DSS, contrary to a court order from October 21, 2021, and the provisions of Section 7 of the Anti-Torture Act, 2017.
The deponent, Chimmuanya Emenari, attested to Kanu’s deteriorating health condition and alleged inhuman treatment and torture following his arrest in Kenya and subsequent return to Nigeria. Kanu’s personal physician, Dr. Fine Okorochukwu, was also denied access to him despite a court order granting Kanu access to three persons of his choice, which included his doctors.
Although the DSS objected to the court’s jurisdiction to grant Kanu’s request, the court dismissed their objection.
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