A Kaduna-based businessman, Alhaji Ibrahim Gashash, has dragged the Nigerian Army, Chief of Army Staff, General Officer Commanding 1 Division and Director General of the Department of State Services before the Federal High Court sitting in Kaduna over alleged unlawful arrest and detention.
Gashash, on Monday, approached the court seeking the enforcement of his fundamental human rights over his alleged illegal arrest by soldiers without any reason on January 1, 2020.
He asked the court to declare that his arrest and detention by the respondents beyond the period prescribed by the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) as illegal, unlawful, unconstitutional.
Gashash said the arrest was a gross violation of his fundamental rights to personal liberty as enshrined in the constitution.
The plaintiff prayed the court to order the respondents to pay him N200 million for breach of his fundamental rights.
His Counsel, Umar Magaji, told the court: “Initially, we wanted to remove the 4th respondent, that is the DG DSS from the matter, we now want the matter to continue the way it was filed and that is why we did not file any application.
“We served them with hearing notice which signals that we want the matter to continue as filed and with that, we are ready to proceed with the hearing of the application seeking for the enforcement of the fundamental human rights of the applicant.”
Gashash urged the court to grant all the reliefs of the applicant in the matter.
However, Nanchang Nangwang, Counsel to the Army, Chief of Army Staff and the GOC, who are 1st, 2nd and 3rd respondents in the matter, rejected the application.
The counsel said his clients had filed a counter and written affidavit dated February 6, 2020.
“We rely on all the averments contained herein and adopt the written address as our submission in the matter,” Nanvwang said, and urged the court to dismiss the application in its entirety as it lacked merit.
Justice Zainab Abubakar has adjourned the matter till April 2 for ruling.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Gashash was arrested by soldiers in his residence, 1, Gashash Estate, Kakuri in Kaduna, during which the house was searched.