The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Thursday dismissed an application filed by Mr. Maxwell Opara which sought an order directing the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and the Department of Security Service (DSS) to allow the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, to start “wearing any clothes of his choice, more so, to allow him to wear his traditional Igbo Attires (Isi-Agu) and/or other Igbo traditional attires of his choice.”
Opara had argued that DSS’ alleged refusal to allow Kanu to change his clothes was a violation of his fundamental right.
“An order directing the Respondents, jointly and severally, to immediately allow the Applicant to have a change of clothes in their detention facility or at any time he appears in public for his trial
“An order of perpetual injunction restraining the Respondents, their authorized agents by whatever name so called, from further disturbing or interfering with the rights of the Applicant to dignity of human person and freedom from discrimination or in any way infringing on the constitutional rights of the Applicant as guaranteed by law or from making any attempt capable of violating the Applicant’s rights as guaranteed under the Constitution, ” Opara requested in his reliefs.
Opara further alleged that other people at the facility were allowed to dress the way they like, except Kanu.
But the DSS, through its counsel, I. Awo, countered the submissions of Opara, saying that the fundamental right of the IPOB leader is not at large.
He added that a detention facility like that of the DSS has its Standard Operating Procedures(SOP) and one is not at liberty to make all manner of requests.
In his judgment on Thursday, Justice James Omotosho agreed with the DSS that one cannot request for whatever he likes at the detention centre.
He also held that the applicant did not provide evidence to show that the DSS allowed others to wear what they like.
The judge subsequently dismissed the suit.
Meanwhile, matters relating to Kanu are before the Supreme Court, the apex court of the land.
Recall that the Court of Appeal had discharged him of all terrorism-related charges instituted against him by the federal government as well as ordered his immediate release.
But the federal government appealed to the Supreme Court while filing a stay of execution application at the Court of Appeal.
The appellate court stayed execution of its previous orders.