By Edoamaowo Udeme
A Federal High Court, in Abuja, yesterday ordered the federal government to pay the sum of N1 million as damages to the director of the Taskforce on Illegal Importation of Small Arms and Light Weapons in Nigeria, Mr. Osita Okereke, over his unlawful detention.
Okereke was on August 15, 2013 arrested by the Police allegedly on the orders of the National Security Adviser (NSA) in Abuja. He was subsequently arraigned August 27 before a Magistrate Court on charges of posing security threat to the country.
Ruling on an application for the enforcement of fundamental rights filed by his lawyer Kanayo Okafor, Justice Ahmed Mohammed ruled that the arrest and detention of Okereke violated section 35 (1) (c ) of the 1999 Constitution.
He faulted the failure of the IGP to adduce any informant on the security threat posed by Okereke and any directive by the NSA to arrest him. He said this contravenes section 115 of the Evidence Act, 2011.
Speaking after the judgement, Okereke said his organization was commissioned to carry out its functions by the federal government. He alleged that security agencies have compromised the country’s security and neglected the security reports he has availed them with.