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Don’t truncate proceedings in Nnamdi Kanu’s suit, Court warns DSS, others

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Justice Binta Nyako of a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, on Wednesday warned lawyers to the Department of State Services (DSS) and the Leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, against truncating proceedings in the next adjourned date.

The Judge gave the warning following the Wednesday’s proceeding that could not go on due to an oral application by the Counsel to the DSS, Idowu Awo, seeking more time to respond to a further affidavit served on him by Kanu’s lead counsel, Prof. Mike Ozekhome (SAN) in the open court.

The IPOB leader, through his team of lawyers, had sued the DSS and its Director General as 1st and 2nd respondents in the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/ 2341/2022, wherein he is praying the court for permission to apply for an order of mandamus to compel the DSS to allow him have unhindered access to his medical doctor, among others.

The court had, on February 1, 2023, granted Kanu, the permission to apply for an order of mandamus he sought after an ex-parte motion moved by Ozekhome to that effect.

But in a preliminary objection, the DSS urged the court to dismiss the suit for want of jurisdiction and
argued that there was a subsisting judgement delivered by Justice Taiwo Taiwo on June 3, 2022, in suit numbered, FHC/ABJ/CS/1585/2021 between Kanu and DG of DSS and two others where-in the court dealt substantially with the issue of allowing the IPOB leader access to his personal physician.

The security outfit said the instant motion was similar to the earlier one and that Kanu had filed an appeal against the judgment.

Upon resumed hearing on the matter, Ozekhome informed the court that he had responded to the DSS notice of preliminary objection.

After Awo applied for an order for the extension of time to file their processes, Ozekhome also prayed for a consequential order deeming their further affidavit as duly filed and it was granted by the court.

But Awo, who said he was just being served with the further affidavit, said he would need more time to study the document whether fresh facts had been raised.

He said the further affidavit was, “accompanied with a judgment from Abia State High Court as exhibit.

“In the circumstances, we will be asking for a short day,” he said.

However, Kanu’s counsel said that in the counter affidavit filed by the security agency, they alleged that Kanu jumped bail, adding that, “We have to respond to that circumstances under which he (Kanu) left Nigeria and those facts had been validated by Abia Court in Umuahia”.

The senior lawyer said they were forced to serve the further affidavit on Tuesday because the DSS served them on Friday and said that, the DSS was in the habit of serving them with their processes late to delay hearing.

Justice Nyako, in a short ruling on the request for an adjournment, said she would not tolerate any act that might delay proceedings any longer.

“I will not allow this case to be truncated in the next adjourned date. There must be an end to exchange of processes,” she said and adjourned the matter till May 22, 2023, for hearing.

Ozekhome told Journalists after the court proceedings that the health of the IPOB leader is deteriorating on a daily basis and he is in solitary confinement.

According to Ozekhome, Kanu has ear problem, which requires surgery and if not done, will lead to him being deaf.

“We requested Kanu’s current medical records to enable independent doctors of his choice examine him but, the DSS refused.

“That is why we are in court asking for an order of mandamus directing the DSS to make the medical records available for us to enable private doctors of his choice handle his ailments. Kanu needs to be alive to face his trials,” he said.

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