Justice Ebiyon Duke Charlie of the Bayelsa State High Court, on Friday, warned the Department of State Security, DSS, against the use of delay tactics in the illegal detention suit filed by a Bayelsa youth activist, Collins Trueman Opumie.
Justice Charlie also warned that, henceforth, all parties in the suit numbered YHC/324/2022 against the Nigerian Agip Oil Company, NAOC, and the Department of State Security, DSS, must be present in court on the next adjourned date or face a fine of N500,000.
Recall that DAILY POST, earlier reported that a youth activist from Bayelsa, Collins Trueman Opumie, filed a suit against his illegal arrest and detention with demands for the sum of N9billion in damages.
Opumie, who is an indigene of Opuama community in Southern Ijaw Local Government area of the state and among Niger Delta youths that embraced the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), in his statement of claims, accused the DSS in Yenagoa of allegedly abducting him at the instance of the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) in a gestapo style.
Opimie claimed he was subjected to both physical and mental torture, bound, and forcibly placed in the trunk of a vehicle, being transported to Abuja without the awareness of his family and without access to medical care.
The presiding judge made this known after hearing the cross-examination of Opumie by the police counsel.
The judge overruled the applications by the police and Nigerian Agip Oil Company counsels to allow them call additional witnesses due to the absence of the DSS counsel in court.
The judge also overruled the application by the police to open their case and call their witness on grounds that all the defendants were to open their case and close same day.
Meanwhile, Agip filed an application to call an additional witness, which is yet to be taken on the next adjourned date.
The claimant, Opumie, has, however, closed his cases against the three defendants.
The defendants are expected to open their defence at the next adjourned date.
Justice Charlie, after the conclusion of cross-examination from the police, adjourned the suit till February 12, 2024.
Speaking at the end of the court sitting, the Counsel to the Claimant, Ebipreye Sese, assured that his client, Opumie believes the court is his last resort to get justice over his alleged arrest and detention in an underground detention facilities in Abuja for 730 days by the Department of State Security (DSS).
Opumie also prayed the court to declare that his arrest, torture and subsequent detention without proper food and medical attention and access to family members for two years for false Imprisonment and malicious prosecution.
In his eight prayers before the Court, Opumie sought the order of the court against the defendants jointly and severally “for damages suffered as a result of the false imprisonment for two (2) years under the custody of the DSS (2nd set of defendants) in their prison facilities without bail or arraignment in a court of law at the instance of the Agip (1st set of defendants) false and malicious complaints/reports against him”
“An injunction restraining the 2nd and 3rd set of defendants from further harassing or attempts to arrest and detain the claimant at the instance of the 1st set of defendants.”