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46 NGOs mobilize to free man in SARS Police dungeon

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Samuel Edache in detention [Photo Credit: Satellite Times]

Following SATELLITE TIMES’s report which days ago sparked public outrage over a Nigerian citizen languishing for three months in Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (F-SARS) police detention facility in Abuja, NOPRIN a coalition of 46 Civil Society Organisations (CSO) has mobilized to set free the detainee and to put to an end the agony of his wife who must leave behind her one-year-old and 3-year-old children to travel a combined 400 kilometres and six hours to be able to visit her husband for three minutes.

NOPRIN (Network On Police Reform in Nigeria) said the SATELLITE TIMES report published September 16, with the headline: “SARS Policemen keep man in dungeon, demands N2.9 million for his release” caught the attention of the human-rights coalition, compelling it to forward the newspaper report to the Deputy Inspector-General (DIG) of Police in Charge of Operations, Mr. Habila Joshak, for necessary actions.

National Coordinator of NOPRIN, Mr. Okechukwu Nwanguma, who spoke to SATELLITE TIMES after sending the story via WhatsApp and e-mail, which he said relayed the agony of the victim and his family to the police boss, added that the case was just one among many across the country about citizens suffering similar fate in the hands of lawless people calling themselves policemen.

READ ALSO: SARS Policemen keep man in dungeon, demands N2.9 million for his release

“The manner of arrest is arbitrary and therefore illegal. Edache was simply abducted by the SARS operatives because at the point of arrest, they did not inform him of the reason for his arrest.

“He has been denied access to legal representation and family. He has been detained indefinitely without being charged to court, this is unlawful.

“The IPO has extorted money from his wife and has been engaging in lies and deceit in a bid to extort more money. His wife has been subjected to untold hardship by being made to travel long distance to Abuja from Nasaarawa to see her husband without being allowed access to him.

“The incommunicado detention of the man amounts to abuse of his right to liberty, presumption of innocence, the dignity of his human person and other due process guarantees under the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria

The conduct of the SARS operatives and the posture of the police hierarchy which indicates condonement and endorsement clearly shows that police authorities are not genuinely committed to reforming SARS and punishing and ending acts of impunity”, Nwanguma said.

Nwanguma added that the story of Edache was very pathetic and one that demanded urgent actions to be taken. He said that was why his organisation sent the report to the DIG in Charge of Operations.

He explained that sending the story to a senior and respected officer like Mr Habila was a way of calling the attention of police authority to what is going on within the Police Force, adding that now that the story is in the public domain, stakeholders are watching what is going on with keen interest and NOPRIN is also following the Citizen Edache case.

Nwanguma called on the Police Services Commission (PSC) and the National Human Rights Commission to initiate immediate investigation to ensure the freedom of the detainee while the police officers responsible for this cruelty are made to face the law.

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Army releases detained pregnant woman, Noroh Dung

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Noro Dung

The Nigerian Army has yielded to pressure and released a heavily pregnant woman, Noroh Dung, who was arrested and detained during a search and rescue operation in Du district, Jos South LGA of Plateau State.

Noroh who was whisked away on October 2 was released on Friday, October 12.

Speaking to SATELLITE TIMES, Barr. Godfree Matthew of the Christian Lawyers Association, confirmed Noroh’s release, adding that he was a signatory on behalf of the NGO (Non-Governmental Organisation) he represents.

The news of her release comes shortly after the House of Reps waded into the matter, asking the Federal Government to allow relevant agencies to do everything within the law to trace the whereabouts of all missing persons in Nigeria.

SATELLITE TIMES had reported how Noroh was arrested alongside other civilians on suspicions of probable links to the disappearance of Gen. Idris Alkali, who according to the Nigerian Army was a victim of irate youths who blocked roads and attacked travelers, following the invasion of their community on September 2.

SATELLITE TIMES and the Christian Lawyers Association have been championing the release of Noroh ever since the news of her arrest reached this paper.

Details later…

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Missing General: House of Reps responds to Satellite Times report

calls for investigation into disappearance of missing pregnant woman, Noroh Dung

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Noro Dung

The House of Representatives on Thursday responded to a report by SATELLITE TIMES newspaper over the arrest and detainment of a heavily pregnant 20-year-old woman, Noroh Dung, who was whisked away midnight October 2, following a search and rescue operation by the Nigerian Army in Du district of Jos, the Plateau State capital.

SATELLITE TIMES had reported how Noroh was arrested alongside other civilians on suspicions of probable links to the disappearance of Gen. Idris Alkali, who according to the Nigerian Army was a victim of irate youths who blocked roads and attacked travelers, following the invasion of their community on September 2.

This paper also reported how a PUNCH journalist, Mr. Friday Olokor was arrested and detained in a military dungeon on October 6, where he said he saw a pregnant woman suspected to be Noroh Dung.

READ ALSO: Missing General: Heavily pregnant woman held captive by Nigerian Army in Jos

The motion was raised on the floor of the House by a member from Plateau State, Mr. Edward Pwajok (SAN) who raised concerns about the direct involvement of the military in the investigation of the cases of missing persons.

While sympathizing with families who were affected by the recent unrest, Mr. Pwajok urged the Federal Government to allow relevant agencies to do everything within the law to trace the whereabouts of all missing persons in Nigeria.

He urged the “Federal Government and the relevant security agencies to do everything within the law to trace the whereabouts of all missing persons in Nigeria, including but not limited to Maj. Gen. Alkali and Captain Mwankon-Gyang.”

Mr. Pwajok told the House that allowing constituted security agencies to handle the investigation of missing persons in the communities, specifically the Police and DSS (Department of State Service) would help respect the rule of law and human rights of the citizens.

Similarly, Mr. Pwajok called for the release of all those under detention, particularly civilians detained at the 3rd Division Nigeria Army Rukuba Barracks in Jos, for proper investigation in line with due process and the rule of law.

Part of the motion raised by the House read, “(The House) is further worried by reports that many people, including pregnant women and the aged, were and are being arrested and taken to the Rukuba Barracks of the 3rd Armoured Division of the Nigerian Army for interrogation with some of them spending many days there; among them was a journalist, Mr Friday Olokor, a correspondent of The PUNCH newspapers in Jos, who was arrested along with others in a restaurant in Ray Field…”

On October 8, this paper contacted Col. Kayode Ogunsanya, Deputy Director, Army Public Relations for an official response to confirm whether or not Noroh was in their custody, he did not pick his calls but later responded saying, “no such name in our custody.”

While the army has remained in denial of Noroh’s arrest and detainment, it is suspected that more pregnant women could be sharing the same fate at the 3rd Division of the Nigerian Army in Rukuba Barracks.

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Access Bank to pay N100 million damages to Oba Tejuoso

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Access Bank Plc
Access Bank Plc building used to illustrate the story

After six years of fierce legal battle between Ogun State monarch, Oba Adedapo Tejuoso and Access Bank Plc, Justice Mojisola Olatoregun of the Federal High Court, Lagos on Tuesday slammed N100 million damages on the bank for its negligence.

The trial judge, Justice Olatoregun in her judgment held Access Bank and the third defendant; Intercontinental Securities Limited liable for gross negligence in the handling of share purchases by the Mr. Tejuoso, kept under their care and control.

The bank, in July 2008 advanced to the plaintiff the sum of N276,613,297.00 for the purchase of shares in various companies.

According to the agreement between the plaintiff and Access Bank, the security for the loan was the share certificates which were kept under the management and control of the bank.

The court took judicial notice of the express instruction in writing given to the bank by the Plaintiff that the shares purchased with the loan should be sold immediately their value dropped below 130% of the loan facility.

The trial court agreed with the contention of counsel to the plaintiff, Mr. Adeleke Agbola that the bank failed to observe the minimum legal duty of care to the plaintiff in their contractual relationship.

However, the court in its judgment ordered the bank and its subsidiary, Intercontinental Securities Limited to pay the sum of N100 million damages to Mr. Tejuosho for breach of contract.

Agreeing with the argument canvassed by Mr. Agbola, the court held that from the material facts placed before it that the Plaintiff has suffered great loss of his monies under the care of the bank.

Oba Tejuoso

Oba Tejuoso [Photo credit: guardian.ng]

The monarch instituted the suit in 2012 against the defendants. The suit had earlier dragged to the Court of Appeal over an attempt to remove Access Bank as a co-defendant in the suit.

However, the attempt was rebuffed by the Court of Appeal, Lagos Division. In its verdict, the appellate court held that the bank was a necessary party to the suit, and ordered for return of the suit to the lower court for the trial to start afresh.

In the suit, Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) was listed as the first defendant while the bank and its subsidiary, Intercontinental Securities Limited were listed as second and third defendants.

It was held that the banker/customer relationship between the plaintiff, and the 2nd and 3rd defendants imposed a legal duty of care on the defendants which was breached, as a result of their negligent conduct.

Apart from the N100 million damages, the court ordered the bank and Intercontinental Securities Limited to give account of how they used the N276,613,297.00 facility advanced to the Plaintiff and also give an account of all purchases and sales of stocks and shares effected by or on the instruction of both the 2nd and 3rd defendants on the usage of the Plaintiff’s money.

 

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