A federal high court in Abuja has dismissed a fundamental rights enforcement suit filed by Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), against the Department of State Services (DSS).
On Thursday, James Omotosho, the presiding judge, held that Kanu’s suit lacked merit and ought to be dismissed.
In the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/482/2022, the detained IPOB leader alleged that he was subjected to inhumane treatment and torture by the DSS.
He alleged that while other detainees are allowed to wear clothes of their choice, he is not allowed to wear his Igbo traditional attire popularly called “Isi-Agu” and he’s restricted to wearing only one outfit.
Consequently, he sought an order directing the DSS to allow him to wear any clothing of his choice while in custody or when appearing in public, among other reliefs.
But in a counter affidavit, the DSS denied the allegations and stated that operatives never tortured Kanu either physically or mentally while in their custody.
The secret police submitted that the facility is not a recreational centre or traditional festival where Kanu and other suspects would be allowed to adorn themselves in their respective native attires.
The DSS argued that there is a standard operation procedure (SOP) on dress code by persons in their facilities.
They accused Kanu’s family of bringing traditional attires and other items of clothing with Biafra insignias alongside a pair of red shoes decorated with shining beads.
“That in line with global best practices, persons in the 1st and 2nd respondents’ facility are allowed to wear only plain clothes which do not bear symbols, writings, colours and insignias that are offensive to any religion, ethnic group or even the Nigeria state in general,” DSS said.
Delivering the judgment, Omotosho held that Kanu’s case did not relate to torture as claimed.
The judge held that the IPOB leader failed to provide the photographs and names of inmates who were allowed to wear different attires while in DSS custody.
He described his allegations as “a hypothesis without concrete evidence”.
The judge, consequently, dismissed the case for lacking merit.