A Federal High Court, Abuja, on Tuesday, granted Tukur Mamu’s plea to have access to his own personal physician over alleged deteriorating health condition.
Justice Inyang Ekwo, in a ruling, ordered that Mamu’s medical doctor should be allowed to treat him subject to the supervision of the Department of State Service (DSS)’s team of physicians.
Justice Ekwo, who agreed with the argument of Mamu’s counsel, Johnson Usman, SAN, asked the Federal Government’s lawyer, David Kaswe, if the defendant was entitled to his own personal physician and he responded in affirmative.
“Yes my lord , he is as long as it is within the supervision of our team (of physicians),” Kaswe, the Chief State Counsel from the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF)’s office, said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Mamu, who is standing trial over his alleged relationship with terrorists that were involved in the March 28, 2022 attack on a Kaduna-bound train, was arrested on Sept. 6, 2022, by Interpol in Cairo, Egypt, on behalf of the Nigerian government.
The DSS, on March 21, arraigned him on 10 counts of terrorism financing, among others, but pleaded not guilty to the counts.
The judge, on April 27, declined to admit him to bail on the grounds of ill-health, after the DSS opposed the bail application.
But in a motion on notice marked: FHC/ABJ/CR/96/2023, Mamu, through his lawyer, Usman, sought an order of court to have access to his personal doctor.
When the matter was called, Usman informed the court of the motion dated and filed on Oct. 31.
Kaswe acknowledged the receipt of the application and said he filed a counter affidavit on Nov. 14 to oppose it.
He said the simple ground of their opposition was that the DSS had functional medical facility and team of medical doctors that could handle his case.
He said that the treatment being administered to Mamu was still in progress “and that the procedure suffices for a particular period.”
Besides, he urged the court not to grant the application looking at the circumstance of the charge against him.
“Have you read prayer two of the motion?,” the judge asked Kaswe and he said, “yes.”
NAN observes that Mamu’s second prayer in the motion sought an order directing the DSS to take him to “the hospital to perform surgical procedure as recommended by both Egyptian and Nigerian doctors.”
The judge then asked the lawyer if the defendant was entitled to his own personal physician and he responded in the positive.
“I am going to allow the defendant to have access to his own physicians and whatever they do will be in the supervision of the prosecution,” he said.
“We thank your lordship for this wisdom of this court,” Usman said.
Justice Ekwo, consequently, granted Mamu’s request.
“Therefore, I made an order that the medical physician shall be allowed to give him medical treatment subject to the supervision of the physician of the prosecution .
“This is the order of this court,” he said.
He adjourned the matter untill Feb. 26, Feb. 27 and Feb. 28, 2024 for continuation of trial.
Speaking shortly after the court sitting, Usman, who appeared for Mamu, said they sought two reliefs.
“We sought for two reliefs; either to grant him bail on health condition or direct the DSS to take him to a hospital to be treated by his own medical personnel.
“The court granted the second prayer, directed the DSS to allow him to be treated by his own medical doctors,” he said.
On how he felt with the outcome of the proceedings, he said: “It is a success by step in the sense that before now, there was no order directing the DSS to take him to hospital to be attended by his own personal doctors.
“But today, the court has directed that he should be allowed to be treated by medical doctors of his choice. That is a step forward.”
Also speaking, Kaswe said the court had given Mamu access to his own doctor.
“You are aware that the defendant is standing trial for terrorism-related charges especially because of the role he played in the negotiation of the Kaduna train attack that took place sometimes last year.
“So today, he came with another application for his bail and we have filed a counter and the court has heard us and considered and gave bench ruling on the application allowing his medical doctor to have access to the defendant under the supervision of the security agency’s medical team.
On why they opposed Mamu’s application, he said his ailment was not life-threatening.
“We opposed the application because the detention facility where the defendant is has all the cutting edge medical services that are being rendered to the defendant
“And the particular ailment of the defendant is not life-threatening and there is a medical team that has consistently, continuously examined the defendant and formed the opinion that the procedure that is being administered to him now is okay to take care of his ailment,” he said.(NAN)