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Man sues IGP, others over alleged rights violation

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Ambrose Obafe, a Nigerian citizen and an indigene of Ebedei has sued the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Delta state Police commissioner and others for allegedly arresting and detaining him unlawfully for a period of three years.
 
Also joined in the action is the Divisional Police Officer (DPO), Obiaruku and the attorney general and commissioner for Justice, Delta State.

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The applicant, through his counsel, Mr. Malachy Ugwummadu prayed the court to declare that his continued incarceration at the Nigerian Correctional Service, Agbor, Delta State from December 11, 2017 being the date of the remand till date approximately three years after a purported arraignment before a Magistrate Court at Obiaruku, Delta State without the requisite jurisdiction over the alleged crime is oppressive and a gross violation of his fundamental rights to his personal liberty, fair hearing and movement guaranteed under Sections 35, 36 and 41 of the Constitution of Nigeria 1999 and Articles 6, 7 and 12 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act, Cap A9, Laws of the Federation, 2004.

He therefore prayed the court for an order directing his immediate release, adding that he was unlawfully arrested and incarcerated without trial or in the alternative grant him bail.

Apart from asking for N20 million general and exemplary damages for the “deliberate and gross violation of his rights”, the applicant also prayed the court to restrain the 1st to 3rd respondents from further harassing, intimidating, arresting or threatening to detain him without justification.

In a 15-paragraph affidavit, deposed to, by one of the applicant’s legal team member, Oluwadare Omotosho, he averred that the applicant is a farmer, who resides in Obiaruku with his mother.

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“That on November 5, 2017, about 6:30am in preparation for the day’s work as farmers who depended on their farm work as the only source of their livelihood, the applicant realised that there was insufficient fuel in their motorcycle with which they were to go to the farm, informed his mother about it and proceeded to a nearly filling station.

“That after refilling the motorcycle tank with fuel and set to leave the station, he was accosted by fierce-looking young men numbering about 10 with two tricycles and three motorcycles whom he easily identified as Vigilante men. He was thoroughly manhandled and falsely accused of armed robbery involvement five months earlier before he was later handed over to the Nigeria Police, Obiaruku Divisional Police Station in Ukwuani Local Government Area of Delta State,” he swore.

According to him, the Police in Obiaruku presented the man who was allegedly robbed for identification and the victim exonerated him, telling them that he was not part of the people that robbed him.

“That despite the fact of this exoneration, the police refused to grant the applicant bail and insisted that he was part of the armed robbery gang as they demanded the sum of N250, 000 before they would grant him bail,” he deposed.

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