The Federal High Court in Abuja has 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’s judgment was delivered by Justice Binta Nyako, who ruled that the objections raised by the security agency against Kanu’s request lacked merit.
The court held that Kanu has a constitutional right to access both the medical records he requested and the medical doctors of his choice. However, Justice Nyako specified 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.
Kanu had filed a suit requesting permission to apply for judicial review through an order of Mandamus, compelling the DSS to allow him unhindered access to his medical doctors for an independent examination of his deteriorating health condition. He also sought access to his medical records from June 29, 2021, to the present date.
The suit was filed through Kanu’s team of lawyers led by Prof. Mike Ozekhome, SAN. The IPOB leader cited that a court order on October 21, 2021, had granted him access to three persons of his choice, including his medical doctors. He argued that the Anti-Torture Act, 2017, provided the right for a person arrested or detained to demand a physical and psychological examination by an independent doctor of their choice.
Kanu claimed that the DSS repeatedly denied him access to his chosen medical doctors, contrary to the court’s order and the provisions of the Anti-Torture Act, 2017. He further alleged that he was subjected to brutal torture and inhuman treatment after his abduction in Kenya, which worsened his health condition.
The court dismissed the DSS’s challenge to its jurisdiction in granting Kanu’s request, upholding his right to access his medical records and choose his medical doctors for an independent examination.