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Abuja High Court Condemns NSCDC For Illegal Detention Of Trycyclist

September 7, 2019

Justice Nkeonye Maha also ordered the security agency to release Agu if not charged to court within three days.



A division of the federal high court in Abuja has condemned the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) for the illegal detention of one Sunday Agu, a tricyclist.

Justice Nkeonye Maha also ordered the security agency to release Agu if not charged to court within three days.

According to News Agency of Nigeria, Agu had on August 29 dragged Abdullahi Gana, Commandant General, NSCDC, before an Abuja federal high court over alleged illegal detention.

Also joined in the suit are three officers of the corps; Abdulmajeed Imam, Agili Chinedu and Yebage Adamu who are first, second and third respondents, respectively.

While the NSCDC Niger State command's commandant is the fourth respondent, Gana, NSCDC, Christy Ojide, and Alex Ojide are fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth respondents, respectively.

Counsel to the plaintiff, Ifeanyi Igwe had told Justice Maha that the matter was brought in pursuant to section 35 (1) to (6), 34(1), 37, 41, 44, and 46(1) of the 1999 constitution, Articles 4,5,6,12(1) and 14 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights.

Igwe told the judge that since the applicant was detained on July 16, he had been in the corps’ detention at David Mark Road, NSCDC Headquarters, Minna, for no justification.

According to him, his client was accused and detained by the NSCDC for allegedly standing as a guarantor to a hire purchase agreement between one Mr. Chibuike Agu (hirer), a tricyclist, and Mrs. Christy Ojide (owner).

Justice Maha had on August 29 ordered the release of Agu from NSCDC detention if not arraigned within three days and adjourned the case until September 6.

She said the NSCDC was not at liberty to bring a charge against a person under the Advance Free Fraud Act which is under the jurisdiction of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

She warned that if such conduct continued, the Corps would let lawbreakers go free.

The judge invited the NSCDC counsel, Imam, and counsel to Agu, Ifeanyi Igwe, on September 13 to balance justice between the applicant and defendant.

She, however, granted Agu bail on the terms of providing a surety with the sum of at least N500,000 in his bank account, alongside a landed property in Abuja.

She added that he should afterward depose to an affidavit verifying the terms of compliance.

Counsel to NSCDC, Imam, said that in view of NSCDC Act I, the corps is empowered to prosecute on behalf of the attorney general of the federation.

“By the charge, the accused person is being charged by the name of the AGF in line with section 3 of the NSCDC Act,  the Act empowers the corps to prosecute on behalf of the AGF.

“NSCDC is a special prosecutor under the AGF, section 3 (1), paragraph H; the Corps shall have the power to prosecute, criminal activities aimed at depriving people of their properties."