Bright Chimezie, who was recently charged as a co-defendant alongside the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, has urged the Federal High Court in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, to imprison the Director of the Department of State Services in the state.
Chimezie, in a motion which he filed before the court on October 19, 2017, argued that his continued detention by the DSS constituted an act of contempt of the court’s judgment, which was delivered on May 24, 2017.
He contended that Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu, who delivered the May 24 judgment, had also ordered the DSS to pay him compensatory damages of N5m for illegally detaining him.
Through his lead counsel, Mr. Ifeanyi Ejiofor, who filed the motion on his behalf, Chimezie urged the court to jail the DSS director for disobeying the said judgment.
A supporting affidavit to the motion, deposed to by Ahmed Sadiya, stated that Chimezie was arrested by the operatives of the DSS at the applicant’s home in Uyo on October 14, 2016.
It stated that since his arrest, the DSS had neither released him on bail nor charged him with any offence until recently when the charges against Kanu were amended.
It claimed that Chimezie filed a fundamental human rights enforcement suit, marked, FHC/ABJ/CS/1046/2016, before the Federal High Court, Abuja Division.
It stated that the DSS filed a counter-affidavit to the suit, admitting that the applicant was truly arrested in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State by its operatives, on October 14, 2016, but contended that the case could not be heard in Abuja.
The supporting affidavit added that the suit in Abuja was therefore discontinued and a fresh one with suit number – FHC/CS/UY/61/2017 – was filed by the applicant before the Uyo Division of the court.
It stated that after the case was heard on merit, Justice Ojukwu made an order on May 24, 2017, directing the DSS, Akwa Ibom State Command to release the applicant and pay compensatory damages of N5m to him on account of the agency’s detention of the applicant from October 14, 2016 till the date the judgment was delivered.
With the DSS having allegedly failed to obey the court judgment, Chimezie, therefore prayed in his motion for, “An order committing the Director, Department of State Services, Akwa Ibom State Command, Uyo, to prison for having disobeyed the order of this honourable court made on May 24, 2017, which ordered the release of the applicant on bail and the payment of N5, 000,000.00 (five million naira) only as compensatory damages to the applicant.”
Meanwhile, the DSS failed to produce Chimezie when Kanu and others’ trial in which he was recently joined as a co-defendant came up before Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court in Abuja on October 17.
The trial could not also go on because of Kanu’s absence.
Justice Nyako adjourned until October 20, ordering Kanu’s sureties to produce him in court on that date or face the consequences.
Source: ( Punch Newspaper )