The Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered the Department of State Services (DSS) to grant Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), access to his medical records. The court ruled in favor of Kanu’s request, stating that he is constitutionally entitled to access his medical records and the doctors of his choice.
The court’s decision came after Kanu filed a suit seeking permission to have an independent examination conducted by his medical doctors to assess his deteriorating health condition. He also requested access to his medical records from June 29, 2021, till date.
Justice Binta Nyako, who delivered the judgement, rejected the objections raised by the DSS against Kanu’s request, affirming that he has the right to access both his medical records and medical doctors.
Kanu, in his application, cited the Anti-Torture Act, which grants persons under custodial investigation the right to demand a physical and psychological examination by an independent and competent doctor of their choice. He alleged that he had been subjected to brutal torture and inhuman treatment, and his health condition had worsened since being held in custody.
The court’s ruling allows Kanu to have an independent medical examination supervised by the DSS, with the entire process recorded and sealed for security purposes. Kanu’s legal team, led by Prof. Mike Ozekhome, SAN, had argued for his right to access proper medical care, which the court upheld.
The case highlights the importance of ensuring the health and safety of detainees, even in high-profile cases, and emphasizes the need for adherence to human rights standards in custodial situations.