Release is not enough: Wives of detained journalists to sue for redress

Posted by Garba Ahmad, Kaduna | 2 January 2013 | 2,835 times

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Wives of two Nigerian journalists who were released yesterday after being detained for a week by the country’s secret police have vowed to seek redress in court. One of them told News Express that the suit would be hinged on the alleged inhuman treatment and illegal arrest and detention of their spouses, Messrs Musa Mohammed Awwal and Aliyu Saleh, both of the Hausa Language Al-Mizan newspaper based in Kaduna, North-West Nigeria.

Hannatu Dikko, wife of Musa Mohammed Awwal, said: “We are so happy now that our husbands are released and have returned home safely, but the memory and trauma of that day is still in me and will remain in me for the rest of my life.

“They ordered all of us to come out while others were shouting for my husband. One light complexion soldier slapped me while another one hit me very hard on my head and up till now I am feeling the pain from the beating.

“Two of my children who are sicklers were also beaten despite the fact that none of us resisted or challenged them.

“About eight of the other soldiers ransacked my bedroom and in the process they went away with more than N100,000 including our GSM handsets and my husband’s laptop and ipad.

“We will take legal action against such inhuman treatment and claim damages because they didn’t even apologise even when I complained about the beating during the process of securing my husband’s bail. Some officers at the SSS headquarters in Abuja just told me to keep silent about that and concentrate on securing the bail of my husband.

“I am calling on security agents to be civil in their approach in such kind of operation against innocent person so that one cannot feel so much pain and inhumanly treatment.”

Awwal himself confirmed to News Express that up till now all the GSM handsets including those of his children, his laptop and ipads were yet to be released to them.

“No identification, no search warrant was shown to us when they invaded my house. One of the soldiers even slapped me before their team leader warned them against such brutality,” he said.

The Al-Mizan Editor further said: “One of my daughters was left with bruises from the beating they received from the soldiers.

“Despite that, the SSS people treated us very well even while we were in detention in Kaduna for one day before our transfer to Abuja. We were not handcuffed and not covered with a hood. We had access to good toilet and good food even though seven of us were put in a cell but we are not congested and we were not molested by anybody.

“Four days later, I was taken to interrogation and was asked about my editor, how much I know him, where he is and so on,” he said.

One of the editors of Al-Mizan, Abbdulmumin Giwa, in a chat with News Express said the matter has not ended “because our Editor-in-Chief is still at large and he cannot continue like that.”

“We will rather suggest they invite him for questioning or they send him a questionnaire to fill for them instead subjecting him to such kind of intimidation,” he added.

Photo: Musa Mohammed Awwal, whose wife confirmed the impending suit.

Source: News Express

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