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Lawyer demands public apology from OPSH for defamation

By Isa Abdulsalami Ahovi, Jos
03 May 2022   |   2:47 am
Jos-based legal practitioner, Mr. Osim Usim, has demanded a retraction and a public apology from the Special Military Task Force (STF) codenamed Operation Safe Haven (OPSH)

Soldiers stand on guard. (Photo by Audu Marte / AFP)

Jos-based legal practitioner, Mr. Osim Usim, has demanded a retraction and a public apology from the Special Military Task Force (STF) codenamed Operation Safe Haven (OPSH), both in print and electronic media, over alleged unlawful arrest and defamation of character.

Usim warned that if the OPSH ignores his friendly demands, he would have no option but to take a step to remedy their wrongful allegation and enforce his rights that had been infringed upon.

His letter entitled ‘Demand for Retraction and Public Apology over a report of busting a Child Trafficking Syndicate by Special Military Task Force’ was addressed to the OPSH commander and copies were made available to journalists yesterday in Jos, Plateau State.

The Child Protection Specialist alleged that he was paraded alongside four others, while the OPSH commander misinformed the world that his men busted a child trafficking syndicate operating in Jos and arrested one lawyer, Osim Jones Usim, who facilitated the sale of a child belonging to one Sandra Ishaku.

The lawyer explained: “I went to OPSH headquarters in the company of Okechukwu and Okwudiri, sons of Madam Rose, who they said was arrested from her home. On my arrival, the STF commander detained me and paraded me and four others before journalists at gunpoint that his men busted a child trafficking syndicate,” he said, adding that he was charged by the police in case No PLD /J74C/2017 for criminal conspiracy and child trafficking with four others before a court as a caused persons.

“But the court, in its wisdom, quashed the charge against me and I was discharged along with the four other accused.

“It is with pains in my heart that I have decided to write to demand a retraction of the news report and a public apology, having waited since 2018 for the STF commander to go back to the media to tell the world that there’s no truth in the allegation against me and that the charge had been quashed by a court of competent jurisdiction,” Usim stressed.

He claimed to be living with suspicion, stigma, denial from colleagues, ostracism, insults and blame, which affected him and his family since 2017, hence the demand.

The Guardian gathered that the present commander was not in charge when the case started in 2017, as three commanders had served the STF. The current one reportedly came last year.