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MKO Abiola’s Sons Sue Lagos Police Commissioner,Odumosu Over Rights Violation

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Jomog.com.ng reports that two sons of late Chief Moshood Abiola, winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, Kassim and Aliyu, who were arrested and detained over a robbery incident that took place at their father’s residence on September 2, have approached the High Court of Lagos State in the Ikeja Judicial Division for the enforcement of their fundamental rights.

The duo, who applied for the enforcement of their rights to personal liberty, dignity of person, right to private and family life, as well as right to freedom of movement, told the court that they were unlawfully arrested and detained at the Special Anti-Robbery Squad in Ikeja, following a complaint that was lodged by their step-mum, Mrs. Adebisi Abiola, after the robbery incident.

The Lagos State Commissioner of Police was cited as the sole Respondent in the suit the Applicants filed through their lawyer and human rights activist, Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN.

Specifically, they prayed the court to declare that “the arrest without warrant and subsequent and continuous dehumanization and detention of the Applicants since the 2nd September, 2020, by operatives of the Respondent on the alleged Complaint of one Mrs Adebisi Abiola, as illegal, unlawful, wrongful and constitutes a blatant violation of the Applicants’ fundamental rights as enshrined in Section 35 (1) (4) & (6), 37, 41 (1), 44 (1) and 46(1) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as altered, Sections 2, 3(1) (2), 17(1) (2), 18 (1) (2) (3), 19, 21 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law, Lagos State, 2015, and Articles 5, 6 & 14 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights Ratification and Enforcement Act Cap A9, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.

“A declaration that the arrest and subsequent dehumanization and the continuous detention of the Applicants since the 2nd September, 2020, by operatives of the Respondent on the alleged Petition/Complaint of one Mrs Adebisi Abiola, without granting them administrative bail within24 hours of their arrest, are illegal, wrongful, unlawful and constitutes a blatant violation of fundamental rights as enshrined in Section 35 (1) (4) & (6), 37, 41 (1), 44 (1) and 46(1) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as altered, Sections 2, 3(1) (2), 17(1) (2), 18 (1) (2) (3), 19, 21 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law, Lagos State, 2015, and Articles 5, 6 & 14 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights Ratification and Enforcement Act Cap A9, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.

“A declaration that the Applicants are entitled to public apology and adequate compensation from the Respondent as provided for by section 35(6) and 46(1) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as altered, Sections 2, 3(1) (2), 17(1) (2), 18 (1) (2) (3), 19, 21 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law, Lagos State, 2015, for the blatant violation of the Applicants’ fundamental rights without following the due process of law.

“An order of perpetual injunction restraining the Respondent whether by itself, its agents, employees, operatives, detectives, investigating officer(s), or by whatever name called, from further inviting, arresting or detaining the Applicant on the facts of an alleged Petition/Complaint made by one Mrs Adebisi Abiola, in relation to a purported or alleged robbery incident to which they know absolutely nothing about”.

As well as, “An order of this honourable court directing the Respondent and his operatives and agents to release forthwith the Applicants from the detention of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, detention center of the Respondent.

Aside from demanding for an apology, the Applicants equally asked for an order to compel the Respondent to pay them N100million as exemplary damages for the “wanton and grave violation” of their fundamental rights.

The court processes revealed that the Applicants, who are both self-employed, were arrested at their homes by the Police in Lagos State over a robbery incident that was said to have occurred inside premises they share with many other persons.

The Applicants told the court that they were discriminatorily singled out as a result of a complaint by their step mum, which accused them of complicity in the robbery.

They told the court that though Police had since conducted several searches at their apartments, nothing incriminating or connecting them with any alleged stolen item belonging to their step mum was found.

Insisting that they were illegally arrested without warrant, the Applicants maintained that Police lacked the constitutional right to keep them in custody for more than 24 hours without an order of a court of competent jurisdiction.

In a 21 paragraphed affidavit that was deposed to by Ubong Ikon, a Litigation Clerk in Chief Ozekhome’s Chamber, the Applicants, alleged that Police officers forcibly broke into their homes and arrested them with seven other people.

“The Applicants were tortured, totally humiliated, dehumanized and terrorized, with a crowd of people swarming the premises to witness the ugly scene in the home of MKO Abiola, the former Presidential aspirant of the Social Democratic Party”.

The Applicants said they were informed that their arrest was as a result of a complaint by their step mum to the effect that a robbery incident took place in their home.

“That suspected armed men invaded the residence and carted away valuables, including money.

“That the Applicants were thereafter roughly man-handled and bundled into the operatives’ vehicle and sandwiched between fully armed operatives of the Respondent, while one of them drove them like convicted criminals to the office of the Respondent”.

Describing the suspicion of their alleged involvement in the robbery as “completely false and malicious in its entirety”, the duo said the allegation was “meant to disparage their persons and their immediate nuclear family, not being biological children of the Complainant”.

The deponent further averred that the Applicants are also students that are about to travel abroad to the United States of America for further international studies.

“That their being singled out for continuous detention and torment is simply because they are not the biological children of the Complainant, Mrs Adebisi Abiola, as her own children and aides staying in the same premises were left untouched.

“That the Applicants are in a very pitiable condition of mental agony and psychological depression, having not been in such an environment before and especially as they insist they are innocent of culpability in the alleged robbery.

“That the Applicants are ready and willing to stand trial if and whenever they are arraigned for any offence since investigation has long been concluded by the Respondent’s operatives, but are merely being subjected to ridicule, harassment, degrading treatment and torture”,

Meanwhile, the Applicants filed an exparte motion and an affidavit of urgency, wherein they prayed the court to hear their case within the ongoing vacation period.

When the case came up on Friday September 11, 2020, before the Ikeja High Court vacation Judge, Justice Abiola Soladoye, Messrs Chimaobi Onuigbo and Ejieke Onuoha, holding the brief of Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN, passionately prayed the court to grant bail to the detainees due to their poor health and lengthy detention period in the SARS dungeon since the 2nd of September, 2020.

The Judge however directed that the Commissioner of Police who is the sole Defendant in the matter be put on notice about the suit. She consequently adjourned the matter to the October 15, 2020 ,and ordered that the file be returned to the Assistant Chief Registrar for a re-assignment to a non – vacation Judge, for hearing.

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Eid-el- Fitr: Obasa congratulates Muslims, calls for more patriotism

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– Speaker says Nigeria’s current challenges should further unite the citizens

– Advises President Buhari to act on requests by Southern governors

– Expresses belief in a better Nigeria and calls for prayers for the country

Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. (Dr.) Mudashiru Obasa, has appealed to Nigerians to see the country’s current challenges as an opportunity to further unite them saying this is a sure way to national progress.

Speaker Obasa made the appeal in a statement on Wednesday to commemorate this year’s Eid-el-Fitr celebrated by Muslims across the world.

Obasa expressed belief that the security and economic challenges Nigeria is faced with at the moment are a face from which the country would come out stronger.

He also advised President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently act on the requests recently made by the Southern Governors Forum as a way to curb rising insecurity in the country.

According to the former chairman of the Conference of Speakers of State Legislatures in Nigeria, “President Buhari should not only give a thought to the requests made by the governors, he should also implement them for the country to move forward.

Appealing to the citizens of the country not to lose faith and hope, the Speaker said: “This year’s Ramadan afforded many of us the opportunity to pray for the country. It is obvious that the country has some challenges.

“However, the challenges should not be left to the government alone. Every citizen of Nigeria is important and must play that positive role that would ultimately move the country from where it is now to where we want it to be.

“We are a religious set of people and the religions practised in the country teach us to live in love and peace with one another as well as be our neighbours’ brothers and sisters.

“More than ever, we have the responsibility to make the country habitable, devoid of criminal elements, and we must be resolute on this.”

The Speaker congratulated Muslims in Nigeria for witnessing the end of the Ramadan.

“Beyond the celebration, let us all endlessly practise the virtues of love, obey the commandments of Allah, ensure a peaceful, progressive and prosperous Nigeria and continue to pray to God for more grace,” Obasa urged.

Eromosele Ebhomele,
Chief Press Secretary to the Speaker,
Lagos State House of Assembly.

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Transport Ministry Defends Amaechi Against Hadiaza Bala Usman’s Claim Over N1.5B Fraud Allegations

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The Federal Ministry of Transportation says its minister, Rotimi Amaechi never asked the suspended Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala Usman to award $1.5 billion channel management to two Chinese companies.

A national daily had on Tuesday claimed Amaechi requested that the two companies be selected to manage Bonny and Warri Channels, a request the NPA rejected because it violated due process.

Magdalene Ajani, permanent secretary of the ministry in a statement described the report as false.

“This is due to the fact that it is apparent that the intention of the story is to attempt to pre-empt the outcome of the panel’s work, unduly seek to personalise a serious national issue bordering on transparency and accountability in the handling of public finances and attempt to drag the HMT into the arena of brick-bats and mud-slinging in order to force a distraction from the assignment now being undertaken by the panel.

“It is however necessary to quickly clear the air on the weighty allegation contained in the article.

“It is to the above specific malicious and unfounded comments that this rebuttal strictly responds, as it borders on a deliberate attempt by the newspaper to drag the reputation and integrity of the HMT in the mud by an unfounded and malicious allegation, which is designed to hoodwink the Nigerian public, call into serious question the processes and standard operating protocols of the Federal Ministry of Transportation, and denigrate the person and standing of the Honourable Minister in the process.

“It is necessary to place on record that while ‘Channel Management’ contracts have been routinely awarded over the years by the Nigerian Ports Authority at a cost of between 50 and 60 billion naira on an annual basis, the Honourable Minister has adopted a firm position that the NPA should undertake the job of channel management on an in-house basis through the acquisition of the necessary machinery and professional capacity given the humongous annual sums paid out to dredging contractors by the authority.

“Indeed, following the expiration of the Channel Management contracts for the Lagos, Bonny and Port Harcourt Channels in 2020 and the initiation of the contractual process for the renewal of the said contracts early in 2021, the HMT on 22nd January, 2021, while responding to a request for the NPA to provide requisite details related to the proposed transactions directed in the following words:

“Para. 10 approved. There is the need for NPA to know that they should purchase their own equipment and not award any contract.

​“In light of the above, it is indeed difficult to reconcile the newspaper’s wild, malicious and unsupportable claim that the Honourable Minister insisted on the contracts being awarded to ‘two Chinese companies’ with the documented evidence of his position that the NPA was engaged in obvious profligacy and wastage of public funds to be spending over fifty billion naira (N50 billion) on an annual basis on contracts for which it could purchase machinery and build in-house capacity for greater long-term benefits. It is a mark of unprofessionalism and manifest unfairness, in our opinion, that in publishing this obviously sensational and targeted story, the newspaper did not consider it necessary to contact this Ministry for its side of the story before rushing to press to satisfy its sponsors.”

 

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Police Suspend Escorts For South East, Rivers Governors, Senators, VIPs (Photo)

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The Nigeria Police Force has ordered immediate withdrawal of personnel attached to governors, senators, public office holders and high profile persons in the South East.

This was decision reached following the incessant attacks on police formations and officers and in the region.

The directive was contained in a police wireless message shared by The Whistler.

The signal containing the information was dated “101054/05/2021” and with reference number 0900/DTS/DOPS/VOL47/812 and issued by the Commissioner of Police (DOPS), Asaba, Delta State.

It said, “Sequel to the incessant attacks on policemen/ snatching of arms and ammunition by the proscribed IPOB/ESN elements in the eastern states of Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo States and Rivers State, COMPOL DOPS directs you warn personnel that escorts of their principals to the six (6) eastern states is suspended forthwith until security situation improves. Ensure strict compliance please.”

According to the publication, the acting spokesperson of the Delta State Police Command, DSP Edafe Bright, confirmed validity of the wireless message, but noted that it was not meant for the press.

“Firstly, the message that was sent out is not for press, so I don’t know how it got to you. Secondly, it is for policemen attached to VIPS not to escort their men to any part of the eastern state. That is the directive,” said Bright.

The South east and some parts of the South South regions have recently witnessed series of attacks on police stations, prison facilities and killing of police and other security personnel.

Last weekend, a total of 10 police officers were killed in Rivers and Akwa Ibom States while vehicles and police buildings were burnt.

The police are insisting that members of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, and their security unit, the Eastern Security Network, ESN, are responsible for the attacks even though the secessionist group led by Nnamdi Kanu, are persistent in their denial.

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