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Suleman: Court asks DSS to apologise to S/South CAN chairman’s son over arrest

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Ovie Okpare, Warri

A Federal High Court sitting in Asaba, the Delta State Capital, has asked the Department of State Security Service to tender an unreserved apology to the son of the South-South Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Mr. Tareri Avwomakpa, over his illegal arrest by its operatives in February.

Hon. Justice T.B. Adegoke gave the ruling on Tuesday in a suit No. FHC/ASB/CS/14/2017 filed by Mr Tareri, a Warri-based legal practitioner against the Director General State Security Service and the Delta State Director, DSS, following his arrest and detention by the service over a message calling for support for embattled General Overseer, Omega Fire Ministries, Apostle Johnson Suleman.

Operatives of DSS had in February arrested and detained Mr Tareri over an alleged message sent through the social media platform, Whatsapp, where he called on Christians in the country to support and accompany Suleman to honour the then invitation by DSS at its head office in Abuja.

Justice Adegoke while delivering ruling on the case, held that Archbishop God-do-well Avwomakpa son’s arrest was unlawful and unconstitutional, and among other things awarded N250, 000 against the Director General and the Delta Director of DSS.

A copy of the judgment sighted on Thursday in Asaba, the court ordered the DSS authorities to write a formal letter of apology to the claimant for breach of his constitutional human rights over his arrest and detention where he was also ducked in a dark cell at the premises of the service in Asaba.

Tareri also confirmed the ruling when contacted on Thursday and dedicated the judgment to Nigerians who have been killed, maimed and are currently suffering oppression for being Christians across the country.

He said, “Court held that (1) my arrest and detention by DSS were unconstitutional; (2) stripping me naked, putting keg cuts on me, putting me in dark cell etc during my detention were unlawful; (3) DSSS should tender apology to me through a formal letter;( 4) and that DSSS to pay me the sum of N250, 000 as damages.”

Tareri, while commending the court for the sound judgment, appreciated members of the Midwest Bar Forum, Nigerian Bar Association and Christian leaders in the country for their support during and after his arrest, and subsequent court victory.

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