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Rights violation: Family sues Kebbi govt, DSS

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A family in Kebbi State has sued the state government and the Department of State Services for their alleged arrest and detention for 13 days without trial by the DSS.

The complainants – Abdulrahman Jato, Hadiza Jato, Aisha Zakari and a six-month-old baby – who are residents of Yauri town, alleged they were arrested and detained from September 1 to 13 by the DSS.

They claimed they were arrested in their house for allegedly sending a text message to the state governor, Senator Abubakar Bagudu, seeking payment of their father’s gratuity.

The respondents in the case were the DSS, Kebbi State Command; state Director of DSS; Kebbi State Government; and the state governor.

In the suit number, FHC/BK/19/2019, filed at the Federal High Court, Birnin-Kebbi, before Justice Bassey Sunday, the complainants sought the court relief to pronounce their alleged arrest and detention illegal, stating the DSS’ action violated sections 35(5) and 46(1) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).

According to the motion of notice, “they sought an order of the court directing the respondents to tender a public apology to the applicants”

“A declaration that the arrest and detention of the applicants by the 1st and 2nd respondents, based on the complaints by the 3rd respondent against the 3rd applicant is illegal, unconstitutional and great violation of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended.”

During the hearing on the matter on Friday, counsel for the applicants, Mr A.A. Figinla, told the court that his clients’ arrest and detention by the respondents contravened the law which stipulated that any suspect should not be detained for more than 24 hours as long as there was a competent court within the radius of 40 kilometres.

However, counsel for the 1st and 2nd respondents, Mr D.I. Namata, urged the court to dismiss all applications of the claimants. He argued that their addresses contradicted each other, which according to him, was contrary to Section 115 of the Evidence Act.
Counsel for the 3rd and 4th defendants, Abubakar Bagudu, who is the Director of Civil Litigation at the Ministry of Justice, also urged the court to dismiss all applications of the claimants on the grounds that their entire prayers lacked merit and should be treated as such.
Justice Sunday, however, adjourned the case for ruling and directed that the date of the ruling would be communicated to all the counsel.

Source: PUNCH NG

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