Ex-Benue Governor, Gabriel Suswam files N10bn suit against FG
Former Benue State governor, Gabriel Suswam on Tuesday initiated a N10 billion legal action at the Federal High Court in Abuja, against the Department of State Services (DSS), its Director General and the Attorney General of the Federation for illegally detaining him for over 35 days without charging him to court.
In a fundamental right enforcement suit filed on Tuesday on his behalf by Joseph Daudu (SAN), marked FHC/ABJ/CS/279/2017, Suswam is asking the court to order for payment of exemplary damages in the sum of N10billion for his unlawful arrest and detention since February 25, 2017 without trial.
By the suit, the applicant wants, “A declaration that the arrest and detention of the applicant (Suswam) on Saturday 25th February 2017, till the date at Abuja by the operatives of the DSS under the instruction of their DG without trial or due process being followed violates the applicant’s fundamental right to personal liberty guaranteed by Section 35(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1999) and Article 5 and 6 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act Cap 10, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 1990, and is therefore unconstitutional, unlawful, illegal, null and void.
Among other reliefs, the plaintiff is seeking, “A declaration that the continued detention of Suswam by operatives of the DSS under the instruction and direction of the DG since Saturday the 25th of February, 2017 till date, without trial or due process violates his fundamental rights to freedom of movement as guaranteed in Section 41(1) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and Article 6 and 12 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act Cap 10, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 and is therefore unconstitutional, unlawful, illegal, null and void.
An order directing the respondents particularly the 1st and 2nd respondents to release the applicant forthwith or produce him forthwith to this court for purposes of his being released.
An order of injunction restraining the respondents particularly the DSS whether by themselves or by their servants, officers, agents or privies or otherwise howsoever described from administering any form of torture, or inhuman or degrading treatment Suswam and if proven to have been administered, to nullify any statements, documents or other materials that may have been extracted or obtained from the applicant under such “unwholesome and constitutionally prohibited circumstances”.
No date has been fixed for the matter.