The Federal High Court in Abuja has granted detained Indigenous People of Biafra leader Nnamdi Kanu permission to seek an order of mandamus compelling the Department of State Service to allow him unrestricted access to medical care.
Kanu, through his legal team led by Mike Ozekhome and Ifeanyi Ejiofor, stated in the FHC/ABJ/CS/ 2341/2022 suit that he required an independent medical examination to determine his health condition.
After hearing an ex-parte application filed by the IPOB leader, Justice Binta Nyako directed Kanu’s legal team to serve all relevant processes on both the DSS and its Director General, who were named as the first and second respondents in the case.
The IPOB leader stated that he would need 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, and diagnosis and treatment prescribed records from the DSS.
On October 21, 2021, Justice Nyako ordered that he be allowed access to three people of his choosing, including his medical doctors.
He specifically requests that the court grant 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 previously ordered by the Federal High Court, Abuja, Coram, Hon. Justice B.F.M. Nyako, on the 21st day of October 2021; and as required by the
“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.
According to section 7 of the Anti-Torture Act of 2017, a person arrested, detained, or undergoing custodial investigation has the right to demand a physical and psychological examination after interrogation by an independent and competent doctor of his own choice, 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, in violation of the court’s order issued on October 21, 2021, and the express provisions of Section 7 of the Anti-Torture Act, 2017.”
He also claimed that his health had deteriorated as a result of his ordeal detention, during which he was subjected to torture, inhuman treatment, and degradation, and that he had suffered a mild cardiac arrest before he was “smuggled back into Nigeria”.
Kanu told the court in a verifying affidavit that before his arrest and abduction in Kenya and extraordinary rendition back to Nigeria, he visited a Specialist Cardiologist once a week for medical examination and treatment.
“Medical Reports containing the Applicant’s medical history as issued by medical specialists managing the Applicant prior to his kidnapping in Kenya and extraordinary rendition to Nigeria are hereby attached and labeled as Exhibits MNK 3, MNK 4, and MNK 5.
“That, despite the fact that the Applicant has been discharged by the appellate court and further detention is prohibited, the Applicant is still being held in solitary confinement in the custody of the Respondents, where he is subjected to daily mental and psychological torture and degradation of his physical condition.”
“The Applicant’s health condition has continued to take a downward spiral since then.
“That various medical personnel that attended to the Applicant whilst in custody had repeatedly informed him that they could not ascertain the reason for the depletion of potassium in the Applicant’s blood.
“That on various occasions, the medical personnel brought by the Respondents took the Applicant’s blood sample and allegedly transported the same to South Africa for screening and up till the present, there is no end in sight for their trial-and-error medicare.
“That all medical experts that have so far attended to this complex health situation of the Applicant failed to medically fathom the explanation for the continued failure of various treatments so far given to the Applicant, hence their inquiries as to whether the Applicant may have been injected with a dangerous substance by those that abducted him in Kenya before being forcibly smuggled into Nigeria.
“That the medical personnel attending to the Applicant in the custody of the Respondents are oblivious of the cause of the Applicant’s health condition and are basically using the Applicant as a guinea pig while carrying out a trial-and-error exercise, as they keep changing his drugs and increasing the dosage without any improvement whatsoever in his health condition.