June 21, 2024

Illegal detention: Court awards N300m damages against DSS, AGIP

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Illegal detention: Court awards N300m damages against DSS, AGIP

Nathan Tamarapreye, Yenagoa

A Bayelsa State High Court sitting in Yenagoa has ordered the Department of State Security (DSS) to pay N300 million in damages over the illegal arrest and detention of a youth activist, Mr Collins Opumie, for over two years.

Opumie had in 2022 approached the court to seek redress and demanded N 9 billion as damages over his detention following a petition by Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC).

Presiding Judge, Justice Ebiyon Charlie, on Monday, in his ruling on suit number YHC/324/2022 declared that the claimant was forcefully imprisoned and should be awarded N300 million for compensation.

The claimant, Opuene, in reaction to the judgement, said he was satisfied with the judgement because his right was trampled upon, adding that he was denied medical attention and a violation of his right.

“I am happy even when all our expectations were not met, I thank all those who stood by me, the traditional rollers and my lawyer for standing by the truth”.

Opumie, had in a statement of claims, accused the DSS in Yenagoa of allegedly abducting him at the instance of NAOC in a Gestapo style, physically and mentally torturing him, tieing and throwing him into the boot of a vehicle and taking him to Abuja like a common criminal without the knowledge of his family and access to medical care.

He also prayed the court to declare that his arrest, torture and subsequent detention without proper food and medical attention and access to family members for two years for false imprisonment and malicious prosecution.

“An injunction restraining the 2nd and 3rd set of defendants from further harassing or attempts to arrest and detain the claimant at the instance of the 1st set of defendants.”

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