Online Publisher Drags IGP To Court For Illegal Detention, Demands N300m Damages


LAGOS OCTOBER 29TH (NEWSRANGERS)-A Bayelsa-based online publisher arrested and in custody of the Nigeria Police in Abuja, the Federal City Territory (FCT) on charges of cyber stalking, has sued the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Kayode Egbetokun, and the Nigeria Police for breach of his fundamental rights and is seeking N300 million in damages.

Mempamo Saint Onitsha, publisher of Naijatvlive online, was arrested in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa capital, and taken to Abuja since on October 10, and he is yet to be brought to court.

He was arrested by personnel of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) National Cyber Crime Centre, F.C.T Abuja led by Mr. Simiat Sulieman, on the allegation of Cyber stalking and Defamation of one Gen. Barry Ndiomu (rtd) at Imiringi road, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State and taken to Nigeria Police Force Criminal Investigation Department (FCID) without Court Order.

Saint, through his lawyers, Terhemba Gbashima, is challenging his continued detention, illegal arrest .and breach of his fundamental human rights.

He also demanded an order of general damages in the sum of N300 million for severally breaching the applicant’s fundamental rights contained in Sections 35 (1), (4), (5) and 36(1) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

In the case brought before the Federal High Court of Nigeria, Abuja judicial division, the publisher is seeking, among other things:

“A declaration that the detention of the Applicant by NPF-National Cyber Crime Centre in the facilities of the Force Criminal Investigation Department (FCID) Area 10, Garki, Abuja by its personnel Mr. Simiat Sulieman & Team from the 11th day of October, 2023 till the day of filing this application is a violation of the Applicant’s right to dignity of his human person and right to personal liberty protected by Sections 34(1)(a) and 35(1) of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria (as amended) and therefore unreasonable and unlawful.

“A declaration that the Applicant’s fundamental human rights guaranteed under Sections 35(1), (4), (5), 36(1) and 41 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) and Articles 6 and 7 (1) of the African Charter on Peoples and Human Rights have been breached.

“An order of general damage in the sum of N300 million to be paid to the Applicant by the Respondents jointly and severally for breaching the Applicant’s fundamental rights contained in Sections 35(1), (4), (5) and 36(1) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) and Articles 6 and 7 (1) of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights.”

The lawyer also seeks an order of the court to compel the police to return the personal belongings to his client and injunction restraining the Respondents, either acting by themselves, or through their agents, officers, servants, privies or howsoever otherwise described, from further harassing, attempting to arrest or detain the Applicant unlawfully in connection with the facts of the instant application.

In a related development, an ex-militant leader and Chairman, Niger Delta Ex-agitators’ Leadership Forum, First Phase, Bayelsa State Chapter), ‘Gen’. Charles Kurobo, has petitioned the Police Service Commission (PSC) over what his lawyer described as criminal conspiracy, attempted kidnapping, Illegal confinement and threat to life at gunpoint.

The ex-militant, in whose house the publisher was arrested, wrote through his solicitor, Barr. Seimiekimo Avery, of Tukpa Chambers, alleging that policemen invaded his private residence, held him at gunpoint against his will without any explanation on October 10, 2023.

The letter which was made available to newsmen read: “Our Client informs us that the two of the Police who entered his room told him that they are interpol Police and that the Governor of Bayelsa State and the commissioner of Police, Bayelsa State Command was aware of their presence in his house.

“We are further briefed by Our Client that the Police compelled him to unlock his phone at gun point and brought different phone numbers from their phone and started dialling the phone numbers on Our Client’s phone until the phone number of Mr. Mienpamo Saint Onítsha shows that it was stored in Our Clients phone and the Police at the gun point asked him fo call the Mr. Mienpamo Saint Onitsha to come and meet him at his house.

“Our Client said he is worried about the where-about of Mr. Mienpamo Saint Onitsha and it is his believe that it is political setup by his political enemies to diminish his political career and blackmail him before meaningful political elites in the State.”

Source: News Express


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Posted by on Oct 29 2023. Filed under National. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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