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Published On: Thu, Apr 20th, 2023

Alleged Unlawful Detention: Six PDP Members Sue Omo-Agege, Army N600m


LAGOS APRIL 20TH (URHOBOTODAY)-Six members of the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP), Uvwie Local Government Area of Delta state who were said to have been illegally arrested by the Nigerian Army have dragged the state All Progressives Congress, (APC) governorship candidate and the Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, the Nigerian Army and five others to court over what they called violation of their fundamental human rights.

Report in SaharaReporters revealed  that following a “frivollous petition” by Omo-Agege against the six PDP members namely, Ochuko Polo Ogolor, Godspower Onoyake, Coffe Uko, Oghor Ayevoh, Alex Omofone and Friday Awhavbera, the 63 brigade commander, Brig. Gen S. Aliu, Major I.H Liman, Captain A.M Ayake who had before now been trailing the PDP members got them arrested at their polling unit during the February 25, 2023 presidential elections and they were taken to the Army barracks in Effurun.

It was gathered that the six PDP members were kept in the army cell from the day of their arrest, February 25 till March, 22, 2023 without being handed over to the police or charged to court.

Speaking to SaharaReporters on the issue, a former house of Assembly member in the area who pleaded for anonymity, disclosed that “the intention of the state APC governorship candidate and deputy senate president Ovie Omo-Agege and his cohorts was to mislead the army with false narratives to get the PDP supporters arrested and locked up throughout the general elections period. An army personnel of 63 battalion led by one Captain A S Ayake, in connivance with Senator Ovie Omo-Agege under a tenuous petition, made some several unsuccessful attempts to arrest the targeted PDP members before the presidential election which they however succeeded in executing on the day of the presidential election when all party stakeholders were compelled to come out to work for the success of their party.

“While they came out to carry out their civic duties on that February 25, 2023, one Joan Joko Onomuaborigho, an aide to Senator Ovie Omo-Agege led soldiers to several polling units, pointed and identified some PDP members to Captain Ayake who ordered his boys to arrest them and eventually taken to Army barracks in Effurun.

“While they were held in custody at Effurun barracks, several entreaties and legal representations to get the detainees released or charged to court were rebuffed by this said Captain Ayake and his brigade commander, Brig. Gen S. Aliu notwithstanding the dingy and most dehumanizing treatment they were subjected to from that February 25 to March 22, 2023 at the insistence of Senator Ovie Omo-Agege in the delusional belief that incarcerating PDP strong supporters in targeted communities and local governments will pave way for him to manipulate himself to victory in the governorship election.”

It was however gathered that after the release of the six detained PDP members, they were admitted for various ailments in different hospitals in Effurun and Warri.

Meanwhile, in a suit file sighted by SaharaReporters, marked EHC/FHC/17/2023 at the Effurun high court, Delta state and filed by Charles Umweni Esq on behalf of the six PDP members, the victims challenged their wrongful arrest and detention and demanded for the sum of N600 million compensation and exemplary damages against the state APC governorship candidate and deputy senate president, Ovie Omo Agege, the 63 brigade commander, Effurun, Brig. Gen S. Aliu.

The six PDP members prayed the court among other things to include:

“A declaration that the Applicants are entitled to the protection of their fundamental human rights guaranteed under the provisions of sections 34 (1) (a), 35(4) & (5) and 36(5) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), and Articles 4, 5, 6 and 7(1) (b) of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act. A declaration that the Applicants are entitled to be compensated with the sum of N600 million by the respondents in accordance with the provision of section 35(6) of the 1999 Constitution for the violation of their fundamental rights.

“An order of perpetual injunction restraining the 1st and 2nd Respondents either by themselves or through their agents, servants or privies from instigating the arrest and detention of the Applicants by the 3rd – 6th Respondents, their agents, servants or subordinates, in any way whatsoever or howsoever in connection with the subject matter of this suit crafted as criminal infractions.” among others.

Speaking, Captain A.M Ayake who led the operation, confirmed the arrest, saying “What did President Buhari say? President Buhari said that anybody that is scattering polling unit, that we should fire them. You did not thank God that we didn’t fire them. Send the case to my office. The federal government can even blame me. Is it because I arrested them? I was deployed officially. I was not deployed illegally.”



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