Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the banned Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), has finally seen his personal doctor for a medical check-up, his lawyer Ifeanyi Ejiofor said on Saturday.
Ejiofor said in a statement that Kanu had his medical examination on Friday at a hospital in Abuja, outside the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS).
“I was present as a witness during the consultation. The medical examination went smoothly and productively, and he (Kanu) will be moving to the next stage soon,” the lawyer said.
Kanu is facing a terrorism trial at the Federal High Court in Abuja and has been held at the DSS facility since his re-arrest in June 2021.
Kanu has been asking for access to his medical doctors since 2022 to enable him to have an independent medical examination, as ordered by the Federal High Court in Abuja on October 20, 2021.
But the DSS refused to allow a private medical examination of the separatist leader.
Kanu, through his lead counsel Mike Ozekhome, filed a suit against the DSS at the Federal High Court in Abuja.
In the suit with number FHC/ABJ/CS/2341/2022, the IPOB leader sought an order from the court to grant him unrestricted access to medical doctors of his choice for his health condition.
The DSS, represented by their lawyer A. M. Danladi, urged the court to dismiss the application, arguing that Kanu was “clinically stable” according to their records.
The secret police maintained that Kanu had been receiving adequate medical care at their facility.
However, on July 20, the judge Binta Nyako ruled that the DSS must grant Kanu access to his medical records and doctors of his choice.
Nyako based her decision on Section 7 of the Anti-Torture Act, 2017, which states that a person arrested, detained or undergoing custodial investigation has the right to request a physical and psychological examination by an independent and competent doctor of his own choice after interrogation.
The court said Kanu had a constitutional right to his medical records and personal physicians for “an independent medical examination.”
It also said that the independent medical examination should be supervised by the DSS, with the whole process recorded and sealed for security reasons.