‘Where are the 15 people you detained illegally in 2015’ – Falana asks Nigerian Navy

Human rights lawyer Femi Falana has blasted the Nigerian navy after they revealed that they do not know where the 15 citizens who were detained for seven months without trial, are at the moment.

The detainees,  Dada Labinjo, a navy captain, and Sherifat Ibe Lambert (also known as Mrs Bola Labinjo), have been detained since September 2018 for an undisclosed offence.

The Nigeria navy’s director of information, Suleman Dahun, on Monday said they have no idea where the detainees are.

Via a statement on Wednesday, Falana said: “My attention has been drawn to the sadistic denial of the whereabouts of the 15 military and civilian personnel who have been held incommunicado by the Nigerian Navy since September 2018,” Falana said.

“As their whereabouts are unknown why did the navy apply to the chief magistrate’s court in Apapa, Lagos for an order to detain them? Why did the navy not deny the whereabouts of the detainees when  the magistrate ordered their immediate and unconditional release  from custody on January 7, 2019? Since the whereabouts of the detainees are not known, why did the navy file counter-affidavits in opposition to  the application for the release of Captain Dada Labinjo and Lt. Commander Bola Labinjo from further detention?

“Why has the navy filed a motion for stay of execution of the order of the federal high court for the immediate release of Lt. Commander Bola Banjo? Why did the Navy apply for an adjournment  to react to the application for the enforcement of the fundamental right of Mr. Benjamin Gold? For goodness sake, at what stage did the detainees disappear from the custody of the Navy?”

Falana also shared copies of the court order that stated that the detainees be released.