HomeNewsRights Infringment: Court Orders DSS, Agip To Pay N300m To Bayelsa Activist

Rights Infringment: Court Orders DSS, Agip To Pay N300m To Bayelsa Activist

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The Bayelsa State High Court sitting in Yenagoa has awarded N300 million as damages against the Department of State Services (DSS) over illegal arrest and detention of a youth activist, Comrade Collins Opumie for over two years.

The Presiding Judge, Justice Ebiyon Duke Charlie gave the ruling after indicting the DSS and Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) for detaining Opumie illegally.

In his ruling on suit number YHC/324/2022 on Monday, Justice Charlie declared that the claimant was forcefully imprisoned and should be awarded the sum for compensation.

Speaking after the ruling, the counsel to the claimant, Ebipreye Sese Esq. said, although two accusations were brought before the court including false imprisonment and malicious persecution, the court successfully upheld false imprisonment while malicious persecution was disagreed on.

Sese however said it was still a win-win situation for the claimant.

“I’m believing strongly that justice is seemed to have been served. I appreciate the judiciary. As a matter of fact, the judiciary system in Nigeria is one that we can rely on in the dispensation of justice, and that, we have achieved today.

“I’m well satisfied with the judgement because there must be an end to litigation. The court has come to its conclusion to uphold the claimant’s claim that he was forcefully imprisoned and he’s entitled to N300 million, it’s a good judgement”, Sese stated.

Speaking on the ruling, Comrade Opuene expressed satisfaction, insisting that his right was trampled upon while he was denied medical attention.

“I am happy, even when all our expectations were not met. I thank all those who stood by me including traditional rulers and my lawyer for standing by the truth”, he said.

Opumie had accused the DSS in Yenagoa of allegedly abducting him at the instance of the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) in a gestapo style and was physically and mentally tortured.

He also accused the DSS of tying and throwing him into the booth of a vehicle before he was forcefully taken to  Abuja like a common criminal without the knowledge of his family or access to medical care.

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