Nigeria: Court Frees Seven IPOB Supporters, Fines Police N130m

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The Indigenous People of Biafra has secured a court victory for about seven supporters of its leader, Nnamdi Kanu, said to have been arrested and illegally held in various detention centres by security agencies.

Kanu’s counsel, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, said the court did not only discharged the IPOB supporters but also awarded N130m in damages in their favour against security agencies.

According to the lawyer, in the charge marked ‘FHC/ABJ/CR/475/2021, Justice M.O. Olajuwon of the Federal High Court in Abuja discharged Maria Ezediaro “of all frivolous criminal allegation/charge brought against her before the court.”

Ejiofor said, “She was arrested on February 26, 2021 when she visited the State CID, Owerri, Imo State Command to give food and medication to her friend who was detained there, and was subsequently transferred to the Inspector-General of Police Intelligence Response Team detention facility in ‘Abattoir’, Abuja, where she was subjected to all forms of inhuman treatment, severe torture and degradation.

“However, following the refusal of the police to release her or charge her to court, we filed a fundamental rights enforcement suit on her behalf before the Federal High Court Abuja.

“Still on our application, she was granted bail by the court on April 21, 2022 and consequently released to us upon perfection of the bail conditions.

On October 10, 2023, following our application and submissions before the court, the Federal High Court, Abuja per Hon. Justice M.O. Olajuwon struck out the four counts of terrorism filed against Mrs Maria Ezediaro and consequently discharged her.

“Also Justice V.S. Gaba of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory in Abuja discharged the Pastor of the Holy Trinity Sabbath Church, Orlu Imo State, Cletus Nwachukwu Egole; his wife, Ifeyinwa Egole; a prophet of Jewish Faith, Michael Uba, Ugochukwu Samuel; and Raphael Idang. The court also granted them N100m compensatory damages against the police.”

They were said to have been arrested and subsequently paraded by the Imo State Command of the Nigeria Police on March 21, 2021, and subsequently transferred to the IGP Intelligence Response Team detention facility in “Abattoir”, Abuja.

“Justice Z.B. Abubakar of the Federal High Court in Abuja also ordered the release of Ngozichukwu Ada-Dav and awarded N30m compensatory damages in her favour,” he said.

“Ada-Dav was arrested in June 2021 by a team of fully-armed operatives of the Nigeria Police Force and thereafter taken to the IGP/IRT located in Ikeja GRA, where she was detained in unlawful custody till July 3, 2021, when she was transferred to the Garki Command of the Nigeria Police, notoriously known as the Abattoir.”