By Olalekan Awojodu
The Director General of the State Security Services (SSS) and its agency has been sued by an Abuja based lawyer, Maxwell Opara over alleged violation of the fundamental human rights.
Consequently, Opara a lawyer to the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). Nnamdi Kanu had in a suit he filed on Monday, demanded compensation of N50million with an apologies from the agency.
Opara, in the suit numbered: FHC/ABJ/CS/1018/2021, wants the court to compel them to pay N50m compensation and a written apology by the respondents to be published in two national ddailies”for the unwarranted infringement of his fundamental rights.”
The lawyer equally wants the court to issue an order of perpetual injunction restraining the SSS, it’s DG and their representatives from further disturbing or interfering with his rights to dignity of human person, liberty and freedom of movement by any further harrasment, intimidation and humiliation during his routine visit to their detention facility to see his client or in any way infringing on his constitutional right as guaranteed by the law.
In a supporting affidavit, the lawyer gave details of the conduct of the respondents that constituted the alleged violation.
He noted, “On the 30th of August, 2021, I visited the respondents’ detention facility to see my client, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu. When I got to the entrance of the detention facility, I underwent the usual security search; wherefore I was properly searched and the usual items: phones, watches and wallet collected from me.
“After thorough scanning with their security gadget, there was no security threat detected and I was affirmed okay to enter and see my client.
“As I got into the facility, I was accosted by some operatives of the respondents, who claimed that there is an order from above that anyone who came to see my client, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, must be thoroughly searched, and I quickly informed them that I have already been thoroughly searched at the entrance, but that fell on deaf ears as they commandeered me into a room within their facility wherefore, I was told that if i wanted to see my client, that I must follow their orders.
“I did not anticipate any untoward act, so I yielded. Then the operatives of the respondents removed my eye glasses, even though I pleaded with them that it is medicated and my doctors instructed that I wear it always, but it was removed by force and for the wholes three hours spent in the facility, I was not wearing my medicated eye glasses.
“The operatives of the respondents went further to force me to remove my belt, wherewith my trouser fell off and they laughed at me saying that ‘he does not even have waist.’
“They did not stop there, they removed my jacket and shoes too. Wherefore, I told them that the facility is too dirty for me to move around bare-footed and one of them, albeit sarcastically, offered me a slipper meant for awaiting trial inmate to wear.
“The operatives of the respondents removed my wedding ring and at this stage I was holding my trousers with my hands and the air conditioner in the facility was subjecting me to immense cold.
“Following the above harassment, humiliation and indignity, I was made to walk around and enter to see my client while holding my trouser with my hands, wearing slipper meant for awaiting trial inmate and feeling cold.
The said experience lasted for the three hours I stayed with my client for consultation.
“I had to go through the above humiliation because I needed to meet with my client urgently to facilitate the preparation for his defence and the operatives of the respondents had warned me that if I did not allow them to follow the instruction from above, that they will not allow me to see my client.
“While going through the above ordeal in the hands of the operatives of the respondents, I endured because I needed to get instructions from my clients to enable me prepare processes to file on his behalf.
“When I eventually was allowed to see my client, I entered and my client, upon beholding me shabbily dressed and twitching in cold, shouted in frustration and cried. I calmed him down and informed him that I will seek redress in court.
“I passed through the above horrendous experience in the presence of Barr. Henry Dimgba.”
Meanwhile, the case is yet to be assigned for hearing and no date has been fixed yet.