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Falana Threatens to Drag Human Rights Commission to Court Over Nigerian Navy’s Detention of 67 Persons

Mr Femi Falana, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, has written an open letter, dated 15 August, 2919, to the National Human Rights Commission, entitled, “Re: Request for Release of 40 Nigerian Citizens from illegal custody of Nigerian Navy”,  protesting against the detention of 57 people by the Nigerian Navy, saying they are being detained in crowded cells at the NNS Beecroft, Apapa, Lagos while 10 others are incarcerated inside a vessel at Marina, Lagos. He said even though the 67 people have been accused of committing undisclosed criminal offences they have been detained by the Nigerian Navy for periods ranging “from 3 months to 18 months without any remand order issued by a Magistrate Court or any Judge in Nigeria.  The names of the 67 detainees are set out and attached to this letter.”

He added: “ It may  interest the Commission to know that the authorities of the Nigerian Navy have continued to detain Navy Captain Dada Labinjo in an underground cell in the detention facility of the Defence Intelligence Agency at Abuja since September 12, 2018 in contravention of the Anti Torture Act, 2017 which has prohibited the detention of any person in any underground cell in Nigeria. As if that is not enough, the authorities of the Nigerian Navy have refused to comply with the order of the Federal High Court for the release of the detained senior military officer from illegal custody.”

Below is Falana’s letter 

August 15, 2019

 

The Executive Secretary,

National Human Rights Commission,

19, Aguiyi Ironsi Street,

Maitama District,

Abuja, FCT.

Email: info@nigeriarights.gov.ng

Re: Request for Release of 40 Nigerian Citizens from illegal custody of Nigerian Navy

 

Our letter dated May 19, 2019 in respect of the above subject matter refers.

 

Even though the authorities of the Nigerian Navy ignored your request to respond to our petition concerning the illegal detention of 40 Nigerian citizens without trial you have not deemed it fit to sanction them in exercise of your powers under the National Human Rights Commission (Amendment) Act, 2010.

 

However, the Nigerian Navy has publicly denied the detention of any person in any of its cells. Despite such official denial some of the detainees have since been released or transferred to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission which has filed charges against them at the Federal High Court.

 

Meanwhile, the illegal detention of several Nigerians and foreigners by the authorities of the Nigerian Navy has exposed Nigeria to ridicule before the comity of civilised nations. As you are no doubt aware, the Swiss Government has filed a suit against the Federal Government of Nigeria in Zurich over the detention of a vessel and its crew members of four Ukranians by the Nigerian Navy for the past 18 months.

 

It may interest the Commission to know that the authorities of the Nigerian Navy have continued to detain Navy Captain Dada Labinjo in an underground cell in the detention facility of the Defence Intelligence Agency at Abuja since September 12, 2018 in contravention of the Anti Torture Act, 2017 which has prohibited the detention of any person in any underground cell in Nigeria. As if that is not enough, the authorities of the Nigerian Navy have refused to comply with the order of the Federal High Court for the release of the detained senior military officer from illegal custody.

 

We have also confirmed, to our utter dismay, that 57 people are being detained in crowded cells at the NNS Beecroft, Apapa, Lagos while 10 others are incarcerated inside a vessel at Marina, Lagos. Even though the 67 people have been accused of committing undisclosed criminal offences they have been detained by the Nigerian Navy for periods ranging from 3 months to 18 months without any remand order issued by a Magistrate Court or any Judge in Nigeria.  The names of the 67 detainees are set out and attached to this letter.

 

In view of the foregoing, we urge you to use your good offices to visit the aforesaid detention centres with a view to releasing the detainees or directing the authorities of the Nigerian Navy to arraign them in the appropriate courts if there is reasonable suspicion that they have committed any criminal offence whatsoever.

 

TAKE NOTICE that if you fail or  refuse to accede to our request within 7 days of the receipt of this letter on grounds of interagency solidarity  we shall not hesitate to file a writ of mandamus against the Commission at the Federal High Court.

 

Yours Sincerely,

 

 

FEMI FALANA, SAN, FCI Arb.

 

 

 

LIST OF THE 57 PEOPLE BEING DETAINED AT NNS BEECROFT CELL, APAPA :

 

1. MICHAEL OVIE

2. SIMON ONYISIKE MIKE

3. UMOREN DANIEL

4. JAMES ARCHIBONG

5. GRAHAM BROWN

6. IFEANYI OSADINIZU

7. MATTHEW EPIAGOLO

8. TAIWO AYODELE

9. SUNDAY OJO

10. AUSTIN OMONISA

11. TIMOTHY AJAYI

12. ADELEKE ADEWALE

13. ONOJA REUBEN

14. PIUS PAUL

15. PETER PULLE

16. OGUNMOYERO OLUWASEUN

17. INNOCENT SUNDAY

18. LEJORO FRIDAY

19. HAMZA YAKUBU

20. SEGUN YUSUF

21. ADEBAYO MAYOMA

22. GODSWILL UMOH

23. EDU FIDELIS

24. RICHARD DAVID

25. DANIEL HARRISON

26. ASAIKI OKEOGHENE

27. OMOGOYE BOLAJI

28. VICTOR UCHENDU

29. OLOYEDE ADEMOLA

30. EMOMOTIMI F. WATCHMAN

31. GANABEL SIXTUS

32. OLAJIDE ENIGBEWO

33. KEHINDE LABINJO

34. GODSWILL AKPOVIRI EBBAH

35. SIKIRU ADEKOYA (SK MARINE)

36. PATRICK OGERUGBA

37. EMMANUEL OPUTA

38. KINGSLEY TERRY

39. MELVIN JACK

40. PAUL OBI

41. MATTHEW PIUS

42. PAUL OBI

43. GRACE INYANG

44. OKECHUKWU IWUOHA

45. GODWIN ETIAKA

46. LUKMAN SALAMI

47. OWEI UKUTO

48. COLLINS JOEL

49. VICTOR JEREMIAH

50. EMMANUEL EZE

51. MIEBAKA IYALLA

52. FIRSTMAN JOB

53. FRANCIS ONYEMA

54. AUSTIN ABAROWEI

55. NELSON SOKARIBO

56. VICTOR OKECHUKWU

57. OLANREWAJU PETER

 

LIST OF 10 PEOPLE DETAINED INSIDE A VESSEL AT MARINA, LAGOS:

 

1. OLOYEDE YISA ADEMOLA

2. OMOGOYE WASIU BOLAJI,

3. UMOH GOODSWILL EMMANUEL

4. RICHARD DAVID ESSIEN

5. EDU FIDELIS

6. UMOREN DANIEL HARRISON

7 SIMEON ONYSI MIKE

8. UDOM VICTOR JEROME

9. ARCHIBONG ANIETIE JAMES

10. OKEOGHENE ASAIKI JUDE

 

 

 

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