Federal High Court Okays Nwafili’s Prayers Against CP Abass 

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The Federal High Court sitting in Asaba today, Tuesday 16, January, 2023, granted the motions and prayers filed by Mrs Oghenetejiri Nwafili, wife of unlawful detained Delta Politician and Estate Agent, Mr. Ben Chukwudumebi Nwafili, against the Delta State Commissioner of Police for continuously detaining him illegally since July 23, 2023, when he was reportedly arrested at Okpanam, near Asaba by officers of the Anti-Kidnap Squad, a Unit of the Nigeria Police Force serving at the Delta Police Command.

CP Wale Abass

This newspaper gathered that Ben Nwafili, who was a House of Assembly Candidate for Ndokwa East State Constituency in 2019 General Elections, was picked up (for unknown reason) in vicinity near his Okpanam residence on the fateful day while his Toyota Corolla Saloon car and his telephone handsets were taken along with him and enquiries by his wife, Mrs. Oghenetejiri Nwafili, a mother of three and businesswoman subsequently revealed that her husband was taken and detained at the Anti-Kidnap unit of the Delta Police Command.

Federal High Court Asaba

In a Motion on Notice filed by the Nwafilis lawyers, Onyeisi Chiemeke Esq. and Mkenchor Jeffrey Esq. of Onyeisi Chiemeke & Associates, the legal counsels sought the Court’s declaration that the arrest on 23rd July, 2023 of Ben Chukwudumebi Nwafili and his continuous detention at the instance of the Commissioner of Police without trial is a violation of his right to fair hearing, dignity to human person, liberty and freedom of movement as guaranteed by Sections 34, 35, 36, 41 and 43 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 and Articles 6, 7 and 12 of the African Charter of Human and Peoples Rights and Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

Ben Chukwudumebi Nwafili

The Motion on Notice and Prayers were granted by Justice F. A. Olubanjo, of the Federal High Court, Court 1, Asaba, while Nwafili’s lawyers await for the date for hearing of the case.

 

According to a document by Mrs Oghenetejiri Nwafili (Affidavit in Support of Motion on Notice by Ben Chukwudumebi Nwafili’s lawyers) made available to Spade Nigeria News online; several attempts by her to see the husband and ascertain what his offence was, were thwarted by the police.

CP Wale Abass

On 19th September, 2023 she had written a letter to the Commissioner of Police in Asaba urging him to release the husband; a hypertensive and ulcer patient or charge him to court but since then, there had been no response from the Commissioner of Police.

 

It was gathered that since his arrest and detention six months ago, no charges have been brought against him, neither have the police allowed his family or doctor access to him despite efforts by his wife, Mrs. Oghenetejiri Nwafili to ascertain from the Delta State police authorities what her husband’s offence is.

 

Nwafili’s legal counsels, in their Suit filed on 2nd of November, 2023 at the Federal High Court, Asaba sought to enforce his fundamental rights by releasing him with immediate effect and also compelling the Commissioner of Police to pay Nwafili the sum of N15million for illegally detaining.

 

The detainee’s lawyer also sought the Federal High Court’s Order for his immediate release and a further Order restraining the Commissioner of Police or his agents, from harassing , threatening, arresting and detaining Nwafili as such actions constitute a breach of his rights of dignity to human person, liberty and freedom of movement as guaranteed by the afore-mentioned Sections of 35, 36, 41 and 43 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 and Articles 5, 6,12 and 15 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights (Ratification and Enforcement Act) (Cap. A9) Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

 

The Motion on Notice also sought the Court’s order awarding the sum of N15,000,000 (Fifteen Million Naira only) to Nwafili against the Commissioner of Police jointly and severally for the arrest, detention, harassment, torture which are all violation of the detainee’s Fundamental Rights of dignity of person, personal liberty and freedom of movement as guaranteed by the various aforementioned sections of the Nigerian Constitution and African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights. The lawyers are also seeking Order of the Federal High Court to compel the Commissioner of Police to produce Nwafili on the date of hearing the suit.

 

In her Affidavit in Support of the Motion on Notice, wife of the detainee Mrs. Oghenetejiri Nwafili among other things, said that her husband who was arrested within the vicinity of their Okpanam residence has been subjected to inhuman and degrading treatments to the point that he has been held incommunicado and it has been extremely difficult to maintain regular contact with him.

 

She also disclosed that despite her personal petition dated 19th September, 2023, the Commissioner of Police has continued with violation of her husband’s right while the husband’s Toyota Corolla Saloon car and telephones reportedly seized by the police have been with the police till date at the Police Command Headquarters, Asaba.

 

The businessman also alleged that her husband has been a hypertensive and ulcer patient who has continuously been denied of his orthodox and traditional treatments thereby worsening his health situation with the possible consequence of death if not promptly released or charged to court.

CP Wale Abass

Efforts by Spade Nigeria News Online contacting the Delta State Police Public Relations Officer, Bright Edafe, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) through phone calls and Whatsapp message for comments on the arrest and illegal detention of Mr. Nwafili, were not successful as DSP Edafe’s phone was not answered as at the time he was called.