NewsCourt Fines DSS, AGIP N300m For Unlawful Detention Of Bayelsa Activist

Court Fines DSS, AGIP N300m For Unlawful Detention Of Bayelsa Activist

May 20, (THEWILL) – The Bayelsa State High Court sitting in Yenagoa has indicted the Department of State Services (DSS) and the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NOAC) over the illegal arrest and detention of a youth activist, Comrade Collins Opumie, for over two years.

The presiding Judge, Justice Ebiyon Duke Charlie, also awarded the claimant the sum of N300 million in damages.

Justice Charlie, in his ruling on the suit numbered YHC/324/2022 on Monday, declared that the claimant was forcefully imprisoned and should be awarded N300 million as compensation.


Speaking after the ruling, counsel to the claimant, Ebipreye K.V. Sese Esq, said, “It’s a serious congratulations to the claimant, Comrade Opuene, that at the end of the day, the court saw merit in his case and gave us a favourable judgement.

“The case entirely was two: false imprisonment and malicious prosecution. The court successfully upheld the issue of false imprisonment, while malicious prosecution was disagreed on, but it’s still a win-win for the claimant.

“I strongly believe that justice seems to have been served. I appreciate the judiciary. As a matter of fact, the judiciary system in Nigeria is one that we can rely on in the dispensation of justice, and that we have achieved today.

“I’m well satisfied with the judgement because there must be an end to litigation. The court has come to its conclusion to uphold the claimant’s claim that he was forcefully imprisoned and is entitled to N300 million. It’s a good judgement.

“It is often said that the judiciary is the hope of the common man, this is one particular instance that it has been established that indeed the judiciary is the hope of the people.”

Speaking, Comrade Opumie said he was satisfied with the judgement because his rights were trampled upon, adding that he was denied medical attention.

“I am happy, even when all our expectations were not met. I thank all those who stood by me, including the traditional rulers and my lawyer for standing by the truth,” he said.

Recall that Comrade Opumie, in his statement of claim, accused the DSS in Yenagoa of allegedly abducting him at the instance of the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) in a gestapo style.

He said he was physically and mentally tortured, tied and thrown into the boot of a vehicle and taken to Abuja like a common criminal without the knowledge of his family and access to medical care.

The Bayelsa youth activists filed a suit against his illegal arrest and detention with demands for the sum of N9 billion in damages.

He also prayed the court to declare that his arrest, torture and subsequent detention without proper food, medical attention and access to family members for two years was false imprisonment and malicious prosecution.

In his eight prayers before the Court, Opumie sought the order of the court against the defendants jointly and severally “for damages suffered as a result of the false imprisonment for two (2) years under the custody of the DSS (2nd set of defendants) in their prison facilities without bail or arraignment in a court of law at the instance of the Agip (1st set of defendants) false and malicious complaints/reports against him.

“An injunction restraining the 2nd and 3rd set of defendants from further harassing or attempts to arrest and detain the claimant at the instance of the 1st set of defendants.”

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Amos Okioma, THEWILL
Amos Okioma is a Correspondent at THEWILL

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