A Federal High Court in Abuja on Thursday, ordered the Department of State Services (DSS) to grant the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, access to his medical records.
Justice Binta Nyako, in a judgment, held that the DSS objections to Kanu’s request was unmeritorious.
Justice Nyako held that Kanu was constitutionally entitled to have access to both the records he requested for and medical doctors of his choice.
The judge, however, directed 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 News Agency of Nigeria reports that Kanu, through his team of lawyers led by Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN, had filed the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/ 2341/2022, against the DSS and its Director General as 1st and 2nd respondents.
In the suit, the IPOB leader prayed the court for an order, granting 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 conduct an independent examination of his present deteriorating health condition.
“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.”
Kanu listed some of the records he would require from the DSS, to include; 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.
But in a preliminary objection filed by the DSS, the security outfit urged the court to dismiss the suit for want of jurisdiction.
It argued that there was a subsisting judgement of a sister court delivered by Justice Taiwo Taiwo (rtd.) on June 3, 2022 in suit number: FHC/ABJ/CS/1585/2021 between Kanu and DG of DSS and two others wherein the court dealt substantially with the issue of allowing the IPOB leader access to his personal physician.
It said the instant suit was similar to the earlier one and that Kanu had filed an appeal against the judgment.