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Nnamdi Kanu’s Rights Claim Against The DSS Dismissed By The Court
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Nnamdi Kanu’s Rights Claim Against The DSS Dismissed By The Court 

On Friday, a Federal High Court in Abuja dismissed a basic rights enforcement suit brought by Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), against the Department of State Services (DSS).

News Agency of Nigeria

The claim was rejected by Justice Taiwo Taiwo because it lacked merit and substance.

According to the Nigerian News Agency (NAN), Kanu sued the Director-General of the DSS and the office as first and second respondents in a basic rights enforcement suit filed FHC/ABJ/CS/1585/2021, through his lawyer, Maxwell Opara.

In the complaint dated and filed Dec. 13, 2021, he also included the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) as a third respondent.

Kanu said that while in DSS custody, his health was failing, and that the medical staff given to him by the DSS were incompetent, among other things.

The DSS, however, disagreed with Opara through its lawyer, Idowu Awo.

He claimed Kanu’s counsel had failed to demonstrate how the physicians treating his client were performing “quack” work.

He went on to say that just declaring that the medical professionals his office sent to Kanu were quacks did not constitute a conflict of interest, and that Opara had not shown any proof to substantiate that the listed medical practitioners were quacks.

He pleaded with the judge to dismiss the application.

Simon Enoch, the AGF’s counsel, backed up Awo’s claim, urging the court to dismiss Opara’s motion.

Justice Taiwo, who delivered the ruling, stated that Kanu had not produced adequate evidence that the security organisation had violated his fundamental rights, “since there is no proof of torture before the court.”

While the applicant (Kanu) has the constitutional right to practise his religion in detention, the judge agreed with the respondent’s argument that a suspect in custody cannot be permitted to practise his religion in a way that disturbs the quiet of other suspects in custody.

On the claim that the IPOB leader was receiving substandard treatment from DSS doctors, whom he had referred to as quacks, Taiwo said that “the applicants fail to lead evidence by calling a medical practitioner to convince the court that the treatment given to Kanu is inadequate based on the medical report.”

As a result, the judge rejected the case because it lacked merit and substance.

In a talk with NAN immediately after the judgement, Oprara said the judgement will be appealed to the Court of Appeal.

He said that the judge denied his plea to have the DG of the DSS and Kanu give oral testimony in court to determine the facts of the case.

On March 16, Justice Taiwo denied Opara’s plea seeking the court to call the DSS DG and Kanu to give testimony, according to NAN.

Fundamental rights cases are exceptional cases (sui generis), according to Taiwo, and the manner of beginning is affidavit evidence as provided by Order 2, Rule 2 of the Fundamental Human Rights Enforcement Procedure Rules, 2009.

Though there are other ways to start a lawsuit, including in basic right situations, Justice Taiwo noted Kanu (applicant) opted to start his “under the Fundamental Right Enforcement Procedure Rules, which mandates affidavit evidence.”

After carefully reading all of the applicant’s and respondents’ affidavits before him, he concluded that there were no irreconcilable inconsistencies in the affidavits.

As a result, the judge denied Kanu’s request, and he was discharged as a result.

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