The co-owner of Amigo Supermarket, Mustapha Fawaz, and three Lebanese – Abdalah Tahini, Talal Rouda and Khosai Nouridine – arrested in connection with the armoury and Hezbolla terror cell in Bompai, Kano State, have filed a suit before the Federal High Court, Abuja.
They want N50bn as compensation from the State Security Service, Director-General of SSS, Ekpeyong Ita, and the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke (SAN), for their unlawful arrest and detention without trial.
They have also asked the court to stop the respondents from extraditing them except by a procedure permitted by law.
In the application for the enforcement of their fundamental rights, the applicants asked the court to declare their arrest and continued detention without trial by the SSS as “illegal, unlawful, unconstitutional, null, void and of no effect whatsoever.”
They prayed the court for an order directing their release and a perpetual injunction restraining the respondents whether by themselves or their agents from arresting or detaining them except by a procedure permitted by law.
The motion is in pursuant to Sections 35 and 36 of the 1999 Constitution, Articles 6 and 7 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act.
A few days after the arrest of the suspects in Kano, the SSS sealed Amigo Supermarket and Wonderland Amusement Park.
But the applicants have asked the court to declare that the action “was arbitrary and a wanton violation of the right of Fawaz to own property and participate in the minor sector of the economy as guaranteed respectively by Sections 44 and 16(1) of the 1999 Constitution and African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights”.
They, therefore, sought an order directing the respondents and their agents and servants to unseal the Amigo Supermarket and Wonderland Amusement Park forthwith.
The applicants also demanded a public apology by the respondents in three national newspapers for the violation of their rights.
Their lawyer, Bamidele Aturu, in a June 3 letter to the SSS Director-General, had complained that his clients had been in detention without trial in violation of the constitution.
He also asked that they needed to access to lawyers, members of their families and doctors within 48 hours “in accordance with their rights under both Nigerian and international law”.
In an affidavit in support of the suit, Ali Thini, who is a younger brother to Tahini stated that the SSS had ignored the letter.
He averred that the arrest of Fawaz took place in Abuja about 4am on May 10; Tahini on May 11, while Rouda and Nouridine were arrested on or about May 28 in Kano. [Punch]