• As detained leader seeks N200m damages
From Fred Itua, Abuja
The Department of State Services (DSS) has released the detained President of National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN), Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere, after about one month of detention.
This was even as the youth leader, who briefed newsmen yesterday, disclosed that he has instructed his legal team to institute proceedings against the DSS for illegally detaining him for about one month.
He also said through the suit, he is demanding N200 million damages for the breach of his fundamental human rights through the illegal detention and denial of access to his family and medical services.
“I have consulted with my lawyers and they are seeking an order of court for the enforcement of my fundamental rights declaring my month long detention illegal and they are seeking for damages of N200 million against the DSS for the illegal detention and torture.
“The job of security agencies is quite tasking and I commend them for the successes, but, while discharging their responsibilities they should respect the rights of citizens and not be used to harass, intimidate, punish or victimise a citizen because of their views,” he added.
Ugochinyere pointed out that he has forgiven those who contributed directly or indirectly to his incarceration but reiterated that he will not abandon his position to enforce his basic rights.
“I am still committed to my mandate; to carry out the required reforms in the youth council and to the ideals of a free and democratic society. My focus will now include fight against abuse of rights, unemployment and empowerment of youths.
“I shall continue to fight and I will not disappoint.”
The youth leader noted that the struggle is not about his person, but about the rights of citizens, pointing out that in Kaduna State, a journalist is still in detention for doing his job, just as in other states where citizens are imprisoned merely for expressing their views.
To this end, he said the NYCN is not an appendage of any political party or government agencies, observing that if he, as the NYCN can be arrested and detained like was done despite protests and agitation all over the country, what becomes of those who do not have voices to speak for them.
He, therefore, quoted President Muhammadu Buhari who said “I pledge myself and government to the rule of law, in which none shall be so above the law that they are not subject to its dictates, and none shall so below it that they are not availed its protection,” insisting that all contempt proceedings earlier instituted against persons who disobeyed the court judgement regarding his executive will continue.
He also said more will also commence against any person or persons who further disobey the court of Nigeria, warning that in a democratic society, everybody should learn to respect and obey the rule of law. The Sun