APC Spokesman Lai Mohammed, Three Others File N500m Suit Against DSS
The National publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Alhaji Lai Mohammed and three others namely Salisu Shuaibu, Sunday Dare and Ibrahim Olowopopo have jointly instituted a N500 million suit against the Directorate of State Security (DSS) for their alleged arrest and detention by agents of the service during the just concluded governorship election in Osun State.
The suit, which is before an Osun State High Court sitting in Osogbo, clearly noted that Mohammed was arrested during the Osun gubernatorial election for allegedly being in the habit of abusing President Goodluck Jonathan.
Recall that Mohammed and few other APC chieftains were arrested in Osogbo by the DSS a day to the gubernatorial election in the state and they were later released the next day.
Three amongst those arrested (Salisu Shuaibu, Sunday Dare and Ibrahim Olowopopo) have now jointly instituted a “fundamental rights enforcement” suit before the Osun State High Court, accusing the DSS of political persecution and victimisation of politicians in Osun State.
Also, in a 14-paragraph affidavit deposed to by Ibrahim Olowopopo, the driver to Mohammed, before the same court, he revealed that the event occurred on August 8, about 9p.m, while they were on their way to the Government House to meet with Governor Rauf Aregbesola to honour an appointment.
The applicants equally alleged in the suit, which is expected to be formally filed by their counsel, M. A. Banire & Associates, today, that one of the reasons they were arrested by the DSS as allegedly claimed by one of the officers who arrested them was because the APC publicity secretary “was in the habit of abusing President Goodluck Jonathan.”
The affidavit also noted that apart from seeking a N500 million compensation for the illegal and unconstitutional violations of their fundamental rights, the applicants also asked the court to order the respondents to tender a public apology to them.
It has equally prayed the court for a declaration that their arrest and detention by officers of the respondent on August 8 and 9, 2014 was unconstitutional, illegal, null and void and in violation of their fundamental right to personal liberty as guaranteed by section 35 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999.
They also demanded a declaration that their arrest and manhandling by the respondent on the said day constituted a violation of their freedom from torture, inhuman and degrading treatment as guaranteed by section 34 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999.
However few of the grounds on which the suit is based included: that the arrest, torture and inhuman treatment to which the applicants were subjected by officers of the respondent are definitely not approved by law as the applicants neither committed nor were they convicted of any offence to warrant such treatment by the respondent.
It was further revealed that the arrest, torture and inhuman and degrading treatment to which the applicants were subjected by the respondents were based on a frivolous allegation of loitering as later disclosed by the respondent’s spokesperson, Marilyn Ogar, in an interview on Channels Television on Thursday, August 14, 2014, which offence is unknown to law.
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