Soldier Alleges Illegal Detention, Seeks N100m Damages from Nigerian Army

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A Nigerian soldier, Lance Cpl. Michael Emefik, on Monday sued the army at a Federal High Court, Abuja, seeking N100 million damages and the enforcement of his fundamental rights over alleged illegal detention.

Emefik’s counsel, Mr Adejoh Jibrin, in his submission, said his client had been in detention at the Mogadishu cantonment, Asokoro, Abuja, since Jan. 21, 2013.

Jibrin, in the motion for the enforcement of his client’s fundamental right, prayed the court to order his immediate release from “unlawful arrest and detention by officers of the Nigerian Army’’.

He said that the order became necessary and urgent following the refusal of the army authorities to release the applicant after repeated demand.

Jibrin also prayed the court to declare that the continuous detention of his applicant “is unlawful, illegal, unconstitutional, null and void’’.

He asked the court to compel the respondents to pay N100 million as general damages jointly and severally to his client for the treatment meted out on him.

Jibrin said that Emefik, with Service Number 2002/NA/51/036, joined the Nigerian Army School of Medical Science in 2002.

He said that his client got married two years later to his wife (name withheld) in 2007.

The applicant’s counsel further told the court that his client got wind of an illicit affair going on between his wife and his superior officer, who is a serving colonel (name withheld).

He said the applicant reported the case to the appropriate authorities and tendered a letter dated 24th March, 2010, as exhibit.

The applicant claimed that the colonel used his influence and contacts in the Nigerian Army to victimise him.

The applicant said that he was simply asked, via a signal he got from the Army, to report to Abuja on the Jan. 13, 2013.

He said he was arrested upon arrival in Abuja and later detained since Jan. 21, 2013 in the guardroom without being told his offence.

When the matter came up for mention, the counsel to the Chief of Army Staff, Miss Deborah Iwoha, told the court that she was not ready to go on with the matter as she had just been briefed.

Iwoha asked for adjournment of the case to enable her to file reply to the applicant’s claims.

Justice Ahmed Mohammed adjourned the case to March 20 for hearing.

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