A State High Court sitting in
Port Harcourt has ordered the Nigerian Army to pay the sum of N20 million as damages to the Chairman of Akuku-Toru Local Government Council, Mr Roland Sekibo and two others for harassment during the February 23 Presidential and National Assembly elections.
The Tide gathered that the Nigerian Army had raided the homes of Roland Sekibo, Tobins Tobins and Damiete Dokubo during the 2019 Presidential election and declared same wanted over allegations of sponsoring hoodlums to truncate the electoral process to favour the Peoples Democratic Party in the state.
The judgment was delivered Monday by Justice Gorge Omerji in Port Harcourt.
The court declared that the actions of the military against the three persons were anti-democratic, thus the reason for the judgment.
Hon. Justice Omereji condemned the military for issuing a statement indicting the Executive Chairman of Council, Mr Sekibo and the others as masterminds of events that occurred on the 23rd of February, 2019 Presidential and National Assembly polls.
According to the learned judge, it was wrong for the military to have issued a statement, declaring the three persons wanted without the opportunity of fair hearing.
Omereji, however, ordered the Nigerian Army and the Chief of Army Staff to pay the sum of N20 million, as damages for the raid of the private homes of the parties.
In a chat with newsmen, Counsel for Roland Sekibo, Mr Ibim Dokubo, pointed out that the judgment of the court so far, had proven that his client and the two others were innocent when they participated in the general elections.
“It gave a clear landmark judicial pronouncement, stating that the event of the 23 of February which happened in the course of the general election as it applied to Roland Sekibo, Tobins Tobins and Damiete Dokubo were an infringement on their fundamental human rights.
“The court granted all the prayers we sought and condemned in clear terms the involvement and actions of the military in the electoral process. The sum of 20 million naira was awarded in favour of all the applicants as against the military.
“This means that our clients were not wrong in participating in the election, but it was undemocratic for the military to have arrested them and invaded their homes in any manner.”, he said.
The counsel for the First and Second respondents, Nigerian Army and the General Officer Commanding the 6 Division Port Harcourt and the Chief of Army Staff, Mr Samuel Edewede, hinted that the Army would appeal the judgment.
”The judgment went against us and the court resolved that my clients carried out the act complained about by the applicants. We do not feel satisfied because we have said we were not election agents. In this era when people go about with military uniform and carry military guns and carry out acts, but court agreed with them that it was the military,” he stressed.
Five Feared Killed In Fresh Kaduna Attack
A Sunday evening attack by gunmen on Unguwan Magaj community in Kauru Local Council of Kaduna State may have left four indigenes dead and 36 homes torched.
But the bravery of the youths reportedly led to the death of one of the attackers and confiscation of his handset.
Useful information was said to have been retrieved from the phone that had allegedly been handed over to the police.
In a statement yesterday, the National Public Relations Officer of the Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU), Luka Biniyat, said: “The invaders, who came by 6:45 pm yesterday (Sunday) from behind the hills that serve as the boundary of Kaduna State and Ganawuri, Plateau State, were numbered over a 100.
“They attacked from four flanks, causing pandemonium among unsuspecting villagers as the youths tried to fend them off.”
He continued: “After about 30 minutes of violence, the following were unfortunately killed: Mrs Hanatu Joseph, 58, mother of five children; Mrs Sarah Sunday, 40, she left behind her husband and six children.
“The others are: Mrs Dije Sajay, 55, married with six children; and Mr Sunday David, 47, married with seven children. He was a retrenched civil servant.”
He noted: “The attackers targeted food stores and bans of grains, making sure they burnt as much as they could. This is to ostensibly cause starvation, especially under this lockdown from the Coronavirus.
“Police and soldiers came into Unguwan Magaji only this morning (yesterday) around 9 am and saw the corpse of the dead herdsman, which they later took away.”
Besides, Biniyat said: “Early this month yesterday, Ibrahim Atiga, 42, a native of Unguwan Magaji, was killed by herdsmen on his way to the farm. He has since been buried.”
COVID-19: Nigerian Correctional Service Receives 2nd Batch Of PPE
The Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS), Lagos State Command, yesterday said the state government had released the second batch of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to the service.
The Spokesman of the command, Supt. Rotimi Oladoku, made this known in an interview with newsmen in Lagos.
The Tide reports that the items donated were hand gloves, face marks, inferred thermometers and sanitisers.
Oladokun said the gesture was part of the preventive measures taken by the state government, especially at custodial centers, to contain the spread of the virus.
“The first set of the PPE was released to the command on March 27 and the command also received the second bath on April 20,” he said.
According to Oladokun, the Lagos State NCoS Controller, Mr Sam Iyakoregha, received the items on behalf of the Controller-General of NCoS, Ahmed Ja’afaru.
“The NCoS thanks the Lagos State government for this tremendous support. The NCoS is well positioned to prevent COVID-19 in the custodial centres,” he said.
I’ll Give Special Attention To Respect For Citizens’ Fundamental Rights – CP …Citizens Set Agenda For Him
The new Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Mr Joseph Mukan has said that he would give special attention to respect for citizens’ fundamental human rights in the state.
This was contained in a statement issued by the Public Relations Officer of the Rivers State Police Command, DSP Nnamdi Omoni and made available to newsmen last Monday in Port Harcourt .
The statement said that Mr Mukan would rekindle the people’s confidence in the police and as well reposition the command for efficiency and productivity.
According to the statement, the new Police Commissioner would be expected to work with humility and integrity as part of efforts to command a better police force in the state.
It further revealed that the Rivers police boss has an impeccable track record in crime fighting, thus the trust to make good his promises.
The Rivers State Commissioner of Police, however, through the statement, solicited for cooperation in terms of information sharing from the people in order to help the command to serve them better.
Meanwhile, some members of the public have called on the new Police Commissioner to remain neutral and face his primary assignment of policing.
A Port Harcourt-Based lawyer, Emperor Nnaoma, who spoke in an interview with The Tide , yesterday, said Mr Mukan must pay priority attention to his core mandate of crime fighting, if he wants to succeed in the state.
Nnaoma, recalled that previous Commissioners of Police who went outside their major task never ended well in the state.
In his view, the Eze Oha Evo III of Evo Kingdom, King Leslie N Eke, said the Commissioner should make out time to check the activities of some of his men who allow themselves into chieftaincy issues in the communities.
The Eze Gbakagbaka/Nyerisi Eli Woji, said that such interference has divided the attention of some police officers in the state as they are always tempted to dance to the tune of their pay masters.
By: King Onunwor
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