Middle Belt Youth Forum President Godwin Meliga dragged the Department of State Services and its Director General Yusuf Bichi to a Federal Capital Territory High Court in Abuja on Monday to demand compliance with their fundamental human rights.
Melinga was arrested following a press conference he led on December 19 where he condemned the agency for the planned arrest of Central Bank Governor Godwin Emefiele.
However, in an appeal for the protection of his fundamental rights with lawsuit No: FCT/HC/CV/1034/2023, filed by his lawyer, Chibuzo Ezike, the plaintiff asked the court for his unconditional release by the DSS.
The claimant prayed to the court to release him from detention and also issue an order for the DSS and its Director General to pay him 500 million naira in damages and a public apology in two national newspapers for the unlawful arrest and detention. .
He also asked the court to declare his arrest and detention from January 8, 2023, until the moment of filing the lawsuit, as a violation of his fundamental rights, unconstitutional and without effect.
Meanwhile, the DSS has confirmed the arrest of the human rights activist.
Service spokesman Peter Afunanya, in a telephone interview with our correspondent on Monday, said Meliga was arrested for what he called “security breach issues.”
Afunanya also denied that Meliga was kidnapped as claimed in some quarters, adding that he was legally arrested.
He said: “We don’t kidnap people. He was validly arrested using all the instruments of law necessary. He was arrested for reasons of a security breach ”.
However, the Coalition of United Political Parties had called an emergency meeting in Abuja to deliberate on how to secure Meliga’s release.
The CUPP, in a statement from the Secretary of its Steering Committee, Peter Ameh, expressed concern about the alleged repeated involvement of the DSS DG in activities that threatened the hope of credible elections and the alleged plot to force the President of the Independent National Electoral Party . Commission, Prof. Mahmoud Yakubu, out of office.