Again, court dismisses Nnamdi Kanu’s rights suit against DSS
Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, has had his fundamental rights enforcement suit against the Department of State Services dismissed by a Federal High Court in Abuja. 

Justice James Omotosho held that Kanu's case lacked merit and ought to be dismissed. Kanu had accused the DSS of subjecting him to different inhuman treatments, including denying him the right to wear any clothes of his choice while in their facility or during his trial.

In the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/482/2022, Kanu alleged that the DSS subjected him to torture and breached his right to dignity, among other claims. He sought an order directing the respondents to allow him to put on any clothing of his choice while in the facility or when appearing in public, among other reliefs.

However, in a counter affidavit, the DSS and its DG urged the court to dismiss Kanu's claim, denying ever torturing him physically or mentally. They argued that there was a Standard Operation Procedure (SOP) on dress code by persons in their facilities and that persons in their facility were allowed to wear only plain clothes that do not bear symbols, writings, colours, and insignias that are offensive to any religion, ethnic group, or the Nigeria state in general.

Justice Omotosho held that the right to human dignity is contained in Section 34 of the 1999 Constitution, and it was clear that a right to human dignity related to the right against torture and inhuman treatment, among others. The judge held that Kanu's case did not relate to torture or forced labour as he was never tortured while in custody based on the evidence before the court.

The judge, consequently, dismissed the case for lacking merit, holding that the applicant failed to provide the photographs and names of inmates who were allowed to wear different attires while in custody. He described the IPOB leader's allegations as "a hypothesis without concrete evidence." Kanu's family had previously brought traditional attires and other clothing with Biafra insignias and a pair of red shoes decorated with shining beads for him to wear in custody and also to attend court for his trial.

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