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IGP Accused Of Illegal Detention, Human Rights Violation, Sued By Bayelsa Online Publisher

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…Ex-militant leader calls for investigation following police raid on his home

Mempamo Saint Onitsha, an online publisher based in Bayelsa State who is currently detained in Abuja, the Federal City Territory (FCT) on alleged charges of cyber stalking, has filed a lawsuit against the Inspector General of Police (IGP) at the police headquarters for unlawful detention.

Onitsha, the proprietor of NaijaTv Live online, was detained in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa capital, and transferred to Abuja on October 10th, and he has not yet been presented in court.

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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 Mr. Barry Ndiomu (rtd) at Imiringi road, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State and taken to Nigeria Police Force Criminal Investigation Department (FCID) without Court Order till the day of filing this action.

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

He also demanding a an order of general damages im 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.

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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.”

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The lawyer also seek a 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, ‘Gen’. Charles Kurobo, an ex-militant leader and Chairman of the Niger Delta Ex-agitators’ Leadership Forum, First Phase, Bayelsa State Chapter, has submitted a complaint to the Police Service Commission (PSC) accusing them of criminal conspiracy, attempted kidnapping, unlawful confinement, and life-threatening behavior.

Kurobo, whose residence was the location of Onitsha’s arrest, alleges through his Solicitor, Barr. Seimiekimo Avery, of Tukpa Chambers, that police officers stormed his private residence, pointed guns at him without any explanation, and confined him to his room on October 10th, 2023.

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According to the solicitors, he said Gen. Charles informed them that he was in his house at the afore-mentioned place on the 10 day of October, 2023, at about 1pm when some guntorting Police officers invaded his compound at Opolo, the Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital.

He said two of the Police officers were with pistols while four others were with AK47 rifles, adding that said Police officers illegally confined Charles In his room at gun point without any explanations.

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.

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“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. MienpamoSaint 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.

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