Court orders DSS to allow Kanu access to Doctor of own choice

Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court in Abuja on Thursday ordered the Department of the State Service (DSS) to allow the detained leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) access to the medical doctor of his own choice while in the custody.

The court held that kanu is entitled to the medical doctor of his choice as guaranteed under fundamental human rights but however added that expenses incurred should be borne by the self acclaimed Biafran leader

Justice Nyako agreed with Kanu’s lead counsel, Chief Mike Ozekhome SAN that Kanu while under the custody of the DSS is entitled to medical examination which should be at his cost.

Kanu, in the suit he filed through his team of lawyers led by Prof. Mike Ozekhome, SAN, applied for an order of mandamus to compel the security agency to allow him to have unhindered access to his private physicians.

He had requested the court for an order directing the DSS to allow him enforce his right to access his private medical doctor and health records.

In the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/ 2341/2022, Kanu had sought an order of mandamus compelling the DSS to allow him unhindered access to his medical doctor among others prayers, to conduct an independent examination to ascertain his state of health, as earlier ordered by Justice Nyako, on October 21, 2021 and as required by the express provisions of Section 7 of the Anti-Torture Act, 2017.

Kanu listed some of the records he would require from the DSS as, 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.

In her judgment, Justice Nyako held that Kanu is entitled to his medical record and that the DSS should not interfere with this right.

The court further held that medical examination of Kanu outside the facility of the DSS should be supervised by Kanu’s team of medical doctors and that the reports should be sealed for security purposes.

Reacting to the judgment, Kanu’s lead Counsel, Prof Ozekhome (SAN) commended Justice Nyako for her courage and Godliness in the judgment adding that the earlier judgment of the court striking out eight counts and the Appeal Court verdict striking out the remaining seven counts is now a new case study in the legal practice.