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Attempts by the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, to summon the Director-General of the Department of State Services (DSS) to give oral evidence on his state of health failed before the Abuja division of the Federal High Court.
Rather than granting the application, the court fixed April 13 to proceed with the substantive case against the DSS.
The Eastern Updates gathered that the IPOB leader had, in the substantive suit filed by one of his lawyers, Mr. Maxwell Opara, accused the DSS of grossly violating his fundamental human rights.
Kanu, who is currently facing a 15-count treasonable felony charge which the Federal Government preferred against him, alleged that a doctor engaged by the security agency extracted his blood over 21 times. He lamented that despite an order of the court, he was neither allowed to have a change of clothes nor practice his religion in detention.
Ruling on the application, Justice Taiwo Taiwo held that Kanu failed to establish why the suit he filed to enforce his fundamental rights should be transferred to the general cause list, so as to summon the DSS boss to give evidence in the witness box.
Justice Taiwo held that there was no conflict in the affidavit evidence that Kanu, the DSS and the Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr. Abubakar Malami, SAN, already filed and exchanged in the matter. The court said it was not minded to call for oral evidence in a fundamental right enforcement suit.
The suit was supported by an affidavit of urgency that was deposed to by Kanu’s younger brother, Emmanuel. His lawyer had alleged that the health of his client was deteriorating in DSS custody.
Opara, who relied on section 116 of the Evidence Act, argued that there were conflicts in a counter affidavit the DSS filed in opposition to the suit, insisting that only the oral evidence of the DG of the security agency could clarify the issue.
‘We want to call both Kanu and the DG of DSS to testify before this court. We urge my lord to allow the parties to call oral evidence in this matter because the Applicant complained that a quack doctor from DSS has taken his blood sample about 21 times without bringing forth any medical report,’ Opara submitted.
However, counsel to DSS, Mr. I. Awo, urged the court to decline the application, insisting that Kanu failed to prove that the doctors who attended to him were quacks. He argued that merely stating that the medical doctors his office assigned to attend to Kanu were quacks did not amount to conflict.
He told the court that the IPOB leader previously jumped bail and was, subsequently, re-arrested and re-arraigned. Awo said that there was no court order that granted Kanu ‘unrestricted access to his personal physician while in the facility of the first and second Respondents’.
‘If there is such an order, the applicant has the option to produce the same in a further affidavit,” he submitted.
Similarly, the AGF, through his lawyer, Mr. Simon Enoch, equally persuaded the court to dismiss Kanu’s application.
Meanwhile, Kanu’s lawyer, Opara, yesterday, said he would lodge an appeal to challenge the ruling.
THE EASTERN UPDATES