Activist slams N200m suit against Rotimi Amaechi, police

Posted by News Express | 15 February 2022 | 480 times

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•Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi


Founder and President of Foundation for Peace and Non-violence in Nigeria, Mr Onengiya Erekosima has dragged former Rivers state Governor and current Minister of Transportation, Rt Hon. Rotimi Amaechi before a Federal High Court Abuja, over allegation of threat to life and rights violation.

Also sued alongside Amaechi is the Inspector General of Police as the second respondent.

In the suit, the applicant wants an order of court for an award of the sum of N200, 000,000.00 (Two Hundred Million Naira) jointly and severally against Amaechi and the Inspector General of Police as damages /compensation for the breach of the Applicant’s fundamental rights enshrined under Chapter IV of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (As Amended).

 The activist also prayed for a declaration that Amaechi’s declaration, description and tagging him as a “Terrorist” without recourse to any due process of law infringed upon his fundamental rights to life, personal liberty, dignity of human person, freedom of movement, freedom from discrimination and right to private and family life.

And a “ declaration that the 1st Respondent while in and out of office as the Executive Governor of Rivers state, instigated the arrest, molestation, harassment and intimidation of the applicant in breach and/or threat of breach of the applicant’s guaranteed rights of Sections 34, 35 and 41 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (As Amended).”

Among other reliefs, the applicant is seeking an order of injunction restraining the Respondents, their servants, agents, officers and men from further harassing, molesting, intimidating and threatening him in any manner howsoever that is likely to breach or threaten the breach of his fundamental rights under Chapter IV of the 1999 Constitution.

In the court process, Erekosima averred he used his NGO to broker peace and reconciliation between the then warring camps of Niger Delta Militants, a success which he claimed “vexed and displeased” the then Governor Amaechi.

“The Applicant had openly confronted the 1st Respondent before the Truth and Reconciliation Committee set up by the Rivers State Government on account of the cache of arms and ammunition planted at Okochiri Okirika, River State to implicate one Ateke Tom during a visit of the then President of the Senate, David Mark.

“The 1st Respondent had in reaction declared, described, tagged, labeled and classified the Applicant as a terrorist and called upon the 2nd Respondent and his men to arrest the Applicant. The Respondents through false arrests, trumped up charges, intimidation and threats caused the Applicant to flee from Port Harcourt to Abuja,” he argued.

Erekosima in his affidavit claimed that the respondents on becoming aware that the he relocated to Abuja, engaged officers of the defunct SARS, to research, arrest and silence him, causing him to go into hiding.

The applicant claim he lives continually in fear and apprehension of imminent danger to his life as a result of the Respondents continuing threats and harassments. He said he has complained to the Attorney General of the Federation and the National Human Rights Commission without any meaningful result or action taken by these authorities.

When the matter came up on Monday, applicant’s counsel, Samuel Nwosu said the fundamental rights enforcement suit was read for hearing, having been served on the respondents.

However, Amaechi’s lawyer, Bolaji Oyun pleaded the court for time to put his house in order and to regularize his counter affidavit.

Wisdom Madaki represented the Inspector General of Police informed the court that he was ready to adopt his preliminary objection to the suit.

Consequently, the trial judge, Justice Binta Nyako has adjourned the matter to March 9, for hearing.

(Daily Independent)

Source: News Express

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