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Falana writes letter to Buhari, seeks release of 40 Nigerians illegally detained by Navy

Femi Falana, Nigerian Human rights lawyer, has written a letter to President Muhammadu Buhari seeking the release of 40 Nigerians illegally detained in the custody of the Nigerian navy.

Falana, in the letter disclosed that the individuals have been in the navy’s custody without being charged to court.

The letter read:

“It may interest Your Excellency to know that the detainees have been held incommunicado in dehumanising conditions for periods ranging from six to eight months.

“In fact, some of the detainees are incarcerated in an underground military detention facility in Abuja while others are held inside one of the vessels impounded by the Nigerian Navy in Marina, Lagos.

“The detainees have been subjected to mental, psychological and physical torture contrary to the provisions of the Anti Torture Act, 2017.

“Furthermore, in utter contempt of court the authorities of the Nigerian Navy have defied valid and subsisting orders of competent courts for the unconditional release of some of the detainees.

“Apart from such contemptuous conduct the Nigerian Navy recently denied knowledge of the whereabouts of the 15 detainees held in a detention facility in Abuja.

“As soon as we pointed out that the remand order procured by the Nigerian Navy for the detention of the 15 detainees had been quashed by the Chief Magistrate Court in Apapa, Lagos State the Naval Authorities turned round to file criminal charges against 5 of them before a Court Martial.

“Since all the detainees are entitled to their fundamental rights to dignity and liberty guaranteed by sections 34 and 35 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended and articles 5 and 6 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights Ratification and Enforcement Act (Cap A9) Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, we urge Your Excellency to direct the Chief Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas, to either release the detainees from unlawful custody or arraign them in court without any further delay.

“In view of the fact that the illegal detention of the 40 Nigerian citizens for several months without trial has exposed the Federal Government to unwarranted embarrassment the Chief of Naval Staff ought to be sanctioned by Your Excellency.”

The detainees are listed below:

  1. Captain Dada Labinjo
  2. Lt. Commander Sherifat Ibe Lambert
  3. Benjamin Gold
  4. Peter Pulle
  5. Pius Paul
  6. Onoja Reuben
  7. Adeleke Adewale
  8. Labinjo Kehinde
  9. Ogunmoyero Oluwasehun
  10. Emmanuel Oputa
  11. Innocent Sunday
  12. Iejoro Friday
  13. Hamza Yakubu
  14. Segun Yusuf.
  15. Master-Melvin Jack
  16. Chief Mate-Adebayo Mayoma
  17. Chief Mate- Francis Oneyema
  18. 2nd Eng-Godwill Umoh
  19. Bosin-Miebaka Iyala
  20. Elect 2-Edu Fidelis
  21. Elect 2-Richard David
  22. Camp Boss-Daniel Harrison
  23. Asaiki Okeoghene
  24. AB 1-Omogoye Bolaji
  25. AB 2-Victor Uchendu
  26. AB 3-Oloyede Ademola
  27. Oiler-Simon Onyisi Mike
  28. Eng cadet-Udom Victor Jerome
  29. Godwin Etiaka Ojodusi
  30. Sixtus Ganabel
  31. Owei Ukuto
  32. Jeremiah Victor
  33. Collins Joel
  34. Augustine Omonisa
  35. MV Akemijo Deborah
  36. Mike Simeon
  37. Umoren Daniel
  38. James Archibong
  39. Umon Godswill Emmanuel
  40. MT Adeline Jumbo

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