Our Reporter

About Nigerian 66 soldiers sentenced to death for mutiny by a General Court Martial in 2014, but subsequently given presidential amnesty, have filed a suit at a Federal High Court, Lagos challenging their continued detention in the custody of the Ikoyi and Kirikiri Maximum Correctional Centres, Lagos.

The soldiers in the three groups filed three separate suits at the Federal High Court in Lagos, on August 18, 2020.

They are asking the court for an order directing the respondents, the Minister of Internal Affairs and Comptroller, Nigeria Correctional Services, Lagos to pay them a cumulative sum of N1.320 billion for violation of their fundamental rights to personal liberty and freedom from discrimination of their persons.

Through their lawyer, Mrs Funmi Falana, they contended in the fundamental rights enforcement suits that their continued detention “despite the amnesty granted them by President Muhammadu Buhari since April 9, 2020, is illegal and unconstitutional”.

They maintained that their continued detention violated their right to personal liberty guaranteed by Section 35 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (As Amended) and Article 6 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act (CAP A10) Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

They are therefore seeking a declaration that their continued detention at the custody the correctional centre, in Ikoyi and Apapa also violates their right to freedom from discrimination guaranteed by Section 42 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as Amended) and Articles 2 and 6 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act (CAP A10) Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

According to their Counsel, other reliefs sought by the applicants are for an order directing the respondents to release them from the custody of Ikoyi and Kirikiri Correctional Centres, forthwith in compliance with the Presidential Amnesty granted on April 9, 2020, by President Muhammadu Buhari of the Federal Republic of Nigeria pursuant to Prerogative of Mercy under Section 175 of the Constitution.

They also asked the court for an order directing the respondents to pay to the applicants a total sum of N20 million each being compensation for the violation of their Fundamental Rights to Personal Liberty and Freedom from Discrimination of their persons.

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