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Monday, 10 June 2013

Hezbollah: Nigerian, Lebanese slam N50b suit against SSS, AGF

Co-owners of Amigo Supermarket, Mustapha Fawaz and three Lebanese-Abdallah Tahini, Talal Rouda and Khosai Nouridine- arrested over the armoury and alleged Hezbollah terror cell uncovered in Bompai, Kano state have filed a suit before the Federal High Court, Abuja.
They are demanding for N50 billion as compensation from the State Security Service (SSS), the Director General of SSS, Ekpeyong Ita and the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke (SAN), for their unlawful arrest and detention without trial.
They have also asked the court to stop the respondents from extraditing them except by a procedure permitted by law.
In the application for the enforcement of their fundamental rights, the applicants asked the court to declare their arrest and continued detention without trial by the SSS on various dates as “illegal, unlawful, unconstitutional, null, void and of no effect whatsoever.”
They prayed the court of an order directing their release and an order of perpetual injunction restraining the respondents whether by themselves, agents, servants, officers, and or proxies or whomsoever, howsoever from arresting or detaining or continuing to detain them except by a procedure permitted by law.
The motion was brought pursuant to Sections 35 and 36 of the 1999 Constitution, Articles 6 and 7 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act Cap. A9, Laws of the Federation, 2004; and Order II Rules 1, 2 and 3 of the Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure) Rules 2009.
A few days after the arrest of the suspects in Kano, the SSS sealed Amigo Supermarket and Wonderland Amusement Park.
But the applicants have asked the court to declare that the action “was arbitrary and a wanton violation of the right of Fawaz to own property and participate in the minor sector of the economy as guaranteed respectively by Sections 44 and 16(1) of the 1999 Constitution and African Charter on Human and Peoples’ rights.”
They therefore sought for an order directing the respondents and their agents and servants to unseal the Amigo Supermarket and Wonderland Amusement Park forthwith.
It would be recalled that their lawyer, Bamidele Aturu had in a June 3 letter to the SSS Director General complained that his clients had been detained without trial by the SSS in violation of the constitution.
He also asked that they be allowed access to lawyers, members of their families and doctors within 48 hours “in accordance with their undoubted rights under both Nigerian and international law.”
But in an affidavit in support of the suit, Ali Thini who is a younger brother to Tahini stated that the SSS had ignored the letter.
He said that “the applicants have been held incommunicado since their arrest and have not been allowed to see their lawyers, doctors or any member of their families.”

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