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News: Court To Rule On July 20 Against Nigeria Secret Police For Flouting Court Order, Violating Section 7 Of The Anti-Torture Act

  JUNE 22 , 2023 | EASTERN PILOT Report By: Agency correspondence | The Federal High Court, Abuja, on Tuesday, slated 20 July for judgment i...



Report By: Agency correspondence |

The Federal High Court, Abuja, on Tuesday, slated 20 July for judgment in a suit filed by Nnamdi Kanu, the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), against Nigeria’s spy agency, the State Security Service (SSS). Mr Kanu is seeking an order to allow him unhindered access to his medical doctor while in custody. Binta Nyako, the judge, fixed the date for judgement after a hearing of the civil case launched by the IPOB leader to seek a relaxation of the restrictions he faces in SSS custody.

Mrs Nyako is also the judge that handled the dismissed criminal case involving terrorism and treasonable felony charges filed against Mr Kanu by the federal government over his self determination campaigns through referendum for an independent Biafra nation comprising mainly the five Igbo-dominated states in the South-east Nigeria. The Court of Appeal terminated the case in a judgement in October last year, citing the irregularities in the manner Mr Kanu was captured in Kenya and brought back to Nigeria to continue facing his trial that was paused after he fled the country in 2017. On October 13, 2022, A Federal high court in Abuja held:

“By engaging in utter unlawful and illegal acts and in breach of its own laws in the instant matter, the Federal Government did not come to equity in clean hands and must be called to order. “With appalling disregard to local and international laws, the Federal Government has lost the right to put the appellant on trial for any offence. “Treaties and Protocols are meant to be obeyed. No government in the world is permitted to abduct anybody without following due process of extradition. Nigeria is not an exception or excused. Nigeria must obey her own law and that of international, so as to avoid anarchy”, the Court held. Mr Kanu is still being held in solitary confinement for over two years now pending the Supreme Court’s final determination of the federal government’s appeal against the Court of Appeal’s decision.


During Tuesday’s hearing, Mr Kanu’s lawyer, Mike Ozekhome, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), and lawyer to the SSS, A.M. Danlami, adopted their processes and presented their arguments for and against the suit. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Mr Kanu, through his team of lawyers led by Mr Ozekhome, had sued the SSS and its Director General in the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/ 2341/2022. He prayed the court for an order compelling the SSS to allow him have unhindered access to his medical doctor, among others. The suit, by its nature, required the plaintiff to first obtain the leave of the court to approve of its filing. The court had on 1 February, granted Mr Kanu the permission to apply for the order of mandamus he sought in an ex-parte motion moved by Mr Ozekhome. But in a preliminary objection filed by the SSS, 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 Taiwo Taiwo (now a retired judge of the Federal High Court) on 3 June 2022 in the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1585/2021 between Mr Kanu and the DG of SSS 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 Mr Kanu had filed an appeal against the judgement arising from it.


Mr Ozekhome said Tuesday that the SSS had flouted an earlier order of Mrs Nyako directing that Mr Kanu be allowed access to his personal doctor while in custody. The senior lawyer argued that the act was against Section 7 of the Anti-Torture Act. He said 10 exhibits were attached to the affidavit and that two of the exhibits detailed Mr Kanu’s medical report before he was renditioned from Kenya on 27 June 2021 and a medical report of his present health status. He said his client’s application was that an independent doctor be allowed to attend to him in the presence of the security operatives. He further argued that a defendant, based on the provisions of the law, should stand his trial and not to be on a wheelchair while being prosecuted.

“We asked if we could see his medical report and they are refusing and if he dies, this will cause national commotion,” he said. Mr Ozekhome, who said that a further affidavit was also filed in the suit, said two exhibits were attached to it. According to him, one of the exhibits is a certified true copy of the judgment of the Federal High Court, Umuahia. “In the judgment, the court awarded the sum of N500 million damages against the respondents for illegal rendition of the defendant from Kenya to Nigeria,” he added. Besides, he said the Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja had exonerated him in a judgement when it dismissed the remaining seven counts after Mr Nyako struck out eight counts from the 15-count charge earlier preferred against him.

“What will they lose to allow an independent doctor to examine him in their presence,” he said. He faulted the allegations that Mr Kanu jumped bail in 2017 after the court granted him bail. The lawyer, who argued that Mr Kanu, rather, escaped a military invasion at his residence, said as soon as he got to Israel, he deposed to an affidavit to that effect. Contrary to the SSS’ argument that the matter was similar to the earlier one decided by retired Justice Taiwo, Mr Ozekhome argued that the claims, the subject matter, and the parties in the two matters were different.

“The former suit sought 11 reliefs (prayers) but ours has two reliefs,” he added. He argued that the law allowed an aggrieved party to file more than one case where facts of his case disclose multiple cause of actions. On his part, Mr Danlami, the SSS’ laywer, urged the court to dismiss Mr Kanu’s plea for lack of jurisdiction.
Referring to a counter-affidavit with four attached exhibits, Mr Danlami said one of the exhibits showed that Mr Kanu was “physically and clinically sound”. “We urge my lord to dismiss this suit in the interest of justice and national interest,” he said. The judge adjourned the matter until 20 July for judgement.


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