Navy detaining 10 more Nigerians without trial, Falana writes AGF
LAGOS —HUMAN rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana, SAN, has
raised the alarm over the alleged unlawful detention of ten
more Nigerians by the Nigerian navy.
In a letter addressed to the Attorney-General of the
Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami,
Falana said the citizens have been in detention since
This comes amid the criticism trailing similar detention of
15 other Nigerians by the security agency against court
In the letter dated May 10, Falana said the ten citizens
were arrested aboard a vessel in Lagos on the orders of the
Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas.
He gave their names as Oloyede Ademola Yisau, Omogoye
Wasiu Bolaji, Edu Fidelis, Richard David, Mike Simeon,
Umoren Daniel, Okoghene Asaiki, Udom Victor, James
Archibong and Umon Godswill Emmanuel.
Falana noted that the detainees were crew members
aboard a vessel known as NESO II, which was hijacked by
a gang of pirates.
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He said: “However, the detainees were rescued while the
pirates were arrested by the Beecroft Naval Base. Curiously,
the crew members who were not indicted in the
investigation conducted by the Nigerian Navy into the
hijacking of the vessel have since been detained aboard the
ship in Marina, Lagos in breach of their fundamental rights
to personal liberty and fair hearing.
“Apart from detaining the crew members in a dehumanizing
military facility, the Nigerian Navy has compelled each of
them to wear the same dress for seven months.
“Thus, the fundamental rights of the detainees to dignity
and freedom of movement have also been violated. Since
the detainees are civilians who are not subject to service
law the Nigerian Navy ought to have reported them to the
Nigeria Police Force if there was reasonable suspicion that
they committed any criminal offence whatsoever.”
Falana asked the AGF to direct the immediate release of
the detainees as well as the prosecution of the Chief of
Naval Staff “for subjecting the detainees to physical and
mental torture contrary to the provisions of the Anti Torture
“Take notice that if you fail to accede to our request within
48 hours of the receipt of this letter we shall not hesitate to
file an application at the Federal High Court to secure the
enforcement of the fundamental rights of the detainees to
personal liberty, dignity, fair hearing and movement and
seek an order of mandamus to compel you to prosecute of
the Chief of Naval Staff,” he said.