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Friday, May 24, 2024

Two Months After, Brutalized Man Slams N500m Suit Against Anambra Anti-Touting Agency, Others



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By Izunna Okafor, Awka

Mr. Wilfred Ikechukwu Ezike, an indigene of Anambra State, who was recently brutalized by the officers of the Special Anti-Touting Squad Anambra (SASA), has slammed a five hundred million naira lawsuit against the agency in his pursuit of justice and redress for the actions meted out to him both during and after the incident.

This is coming barely two months after the tragic incident of March 9, 2024, which leaked through a viral social media video showing the agents of the Anti-Touting Squad brutalizing and hitting Mr. Ezike (popularly known as Mgbịlịgba) with a wooden pestle on the bony parts of his body, including his legs, hands, chest and others, as a way publishing him or eliciting confession from him for an offence they suspected he committed.

Ezike, in the lawsuit, with suit number FHC/AWK/CS/103/2024 recently filed at the Federal High Court, Awka, through his legal team led by Barr. Ifeanyi Okeke, made 16 prayers to the Court in his pursuit of justice.

The suit, which alleges serious violation of human rights of the Applicant (Mr. Nweke), has the Anambra State Government, the Attorney General of the State, Hon. Solomon Chukwuebuka Onwuemene (State Director, Special Anti-Touting Squad Anambra State, SASA), Mr. Fred Nweke (the Admin Officer of SASA), Kenechukwu Okolie (Officer in Charge of Torture Special Anti-Touting Squad, Anambra State), the Inspector-General of Police, and the Attorney General of the Federation as respondents.

Among others, the suit prays the Court for a declaration that the arrest and torture of the Applicant on the 9th day of March, 2024 by the 1st to the 5th Respondents and his detention from the 9th March 2024 to the 10th March, 2024 by the Respondents is unlawful, illegal, oppressive, unconstitutional, null, void and a violation of his fundamental right.

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According to the copy of the filed suit obtained by this reporter, Izunna Okafor, it also prays for an order of the Court awarding the sum of five hundred million naira (N500,000,000.00) general damages in favour of the Applicant against the 1st to 5th Respondents, for infringing his fundamental rights, including for his arrest, detention and torture which inflicted grievous bodily excruciating pain on him; as well as Court order compelling the 1st to 5th Respondents to pay the sum of two million naira (N2,000,000.00) being the cost of medical treatment of the Applicant resulting from torture by the 1st to 5th Respondents which inflicted grievous bodily injury on him.

Also prayed in the lawsuit is a declaration by the Court that in the circumstances of the case, there is no law permitting the 1st to 5th Respondents to arrest and to detain the Applicant in the manner and for the reason provided; a declaration that no law empowers 1st to 5th Respondents to torture the Applicant; a declaration that the 1st to 5th Respondents acted wrongfully and unlawfully by torturing the Applicant with wooden pestle and inflicting grievous bodily injury on him; and a declaration that order by the 1st to 5th Respondents to the Applicant to leave Anambra State or be killed is unlawful.

Continuing, the suit prays for a declaration by the Court that it is unlawful for the Respondents to kill the Applicant whether as threatened by the 4th Respondent or at all unless ordered by a court of competent jurisdiction; a declaration that the 6th and 7th Respondents are under legal obligation to investigate the reported illegal activities of Special Anti-Touting Squad, Anambra State (SASA), the 3rd, 4th and 5th Respondents and where necessary, prosecute them; and a declaration that it is unconstitutional and infringes on the Applicant’s right to fair hearing for the 1st to 5th Respondents to be the accuser, the judge and the executor.

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The suit further prays for an order of the Court restraining the 1st to 5th Respondents, their agents, servants, privies or any other person acting on their behalf, from further arresting, detaining and/or torturing, killing or threatening to kill the applicant; an order directing the 1st, 2nd, 6th and 7th Respondents to take all steps necessary to ensure that no harm whatsoever, including but not limited to deprivation of rights to life, livelihood, dignity, liberty, property are visited on the Applicant for whatever reason except in the course of carrying out the sentence of a court of competent jurisdiction.

Conclusively, the suit prays for an order of the Court directing the 3rd Respondent to return the sum of N100,000.00 being the ransom paid by the Applicant to the 3rd Respondent described as bail, to the Applicant; and order directing the 1st to 5th Respondents to write a letter of apology to the Applicant and publish same on two National daily newspapers; as well as for further or other orders as the may deem fit by the Court to make in the circumstances.

Watch the video of the brutalization below:

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