Nnamdi Kanu’s lawyer slams N50m suit against DSS over alleged rights violation

By AdvocateNews on 06/09/2021

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Detained leader of IPOB, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu
Detained leader of IPOB, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu

Mr. Maxwell Opara, who is among the team of lawyers defending the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu, on Monday, instituted a N50million fundamental right enforcement suit against the Director General of the Department of State Services, DSS.

Opara, who alleged that he was on August 30, subjected to various degrading treatments when he went to visit Kanu in detention as ordered by the court, also cited the Department of State Services, DSS, as the 2nd Respondent in his suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1018/2021.

Opara alleged that the Secret Service interfered with his right during his routine visit to his client who was being detained in the DSS facility.

He prayed the court to compel the DSS and its Director-General to issue a written apology and publish same in two national daily newspapers.

Opara is also seeking an order of perpetual injunction restraining the DSS and its representatives from interfering with his right to dignity of the human person and freedom of movement during his routine visit to his client.

He is also praying for “a declaration that the Respondents whilst in the execution of their duties must respect the fundamental rights of citizens and accordingly abide by the provisions of Chapter 4 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended and the provisions of the Africa Charter on Human and Peoples Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act.

“A declaration that the actions of the men, operatives and officers under the command commission of the Respondents on the 30th of August, 2021 during the Applicant’s visit to see his client in their detention facility, wherefore they commandeered the Applicant to a particular room within their facility; for purposes of alleged bodily search, wherein they forced him to remove his medicated eye-glasses, wedding ring, belt, jacket and shoes and accordingly left him shabbily dressed, harassed, intimidated and humiliated, amounts to a gross violation of the Applicant’s right to dignity of human person as guaranteed under Sections 34 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) and Article 5 of the African Charter on Human and Pe0ple Rights (Ratification and enforcement) Act Cap A9 Vol. 1 LFN.

“A declaration that the actions of the men, operatives and officers under the command/commission of the Respondents on the 30th of August, 2021 during the Applicant’s visit to see his client in their detention facility, wherefore they commandeered the Applicant to a particular room within their facility; for purposes of alleged bodily search, wherein they forcibly removed his belt, medicated eye-glasses, wedding ring, jacket and shoes, and subjected him to the humiliation of holding his trousers with his hands, wearing a bathroom slippers meant for awaiting trial inmates and exposed to Air Conditioner inflicted cold for 3 hours, amounts to a gross violation of the Applicant’s right to dignity of human person as guaranteed under Sections 34 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic_ of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) and Article 5 of the African Charter on Human and People Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act Cap A9 Vol. 1 LFN.”

Barrister Opara had on August 31, narrated his encounter with the DSS during his visit to Kanu. He wrote on his Facebook page;

It’s good I narrate this urgly incident to everyone to hear and circulate. Yesterday being 30th August, 2021, at about 3 to 4pm Nigerian time, I Maxwell Opara Esq went to DSS Headquarters Abuja to visit Mazi Nnamdi Kanu in line with the order of court that gave directives to some members of his legal team and family members to be visiting him every Monday and Thursday. Though I have been going there but yesterday after the normal screening, I was taking to another office where I was forced to remove my suit jacket, shoes & stockings, belt, medicated eyeglass, wedding ring, pen and plain sheet of paper which I wanted to use to record some of information MNK will give in preparation of his defense and applications we may be filing in court. I asked the officers who issued this order that lawyers should be subjected to this level, he said that the order is from above, I told them that I will never subject myself to that, they said then I am not ready to see MNK. Then due to the necessary need for me to see MNK, I had no option than to comply. I was given an ordinary slippers with my hands holding my trousers because my belt has been taken away from me. When MNK saw me (his lawyer) looking like awaiting trial inmate he felt so bad and started shedding tears, “that his lawyer is subjected to such degrading treatment simply because he came to visit him. I calmed him down and told him that I will personally narrate this to the whole world and as well address court on this issue in next court sitting. This is a country that claimed to practice democracy. We shall continue to fight against injustice. I believe order lawyers in the legal team will narrate the same experience. Ahead ahead unstoppable!!! God is in control and in him we trust. Maxwell Opara Esq.

Posted 06/09/2021 7:12 PM

 

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