Suspected Member of Niger Delta Avengers Drags DSS to Court over Unlawful Detention

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  • Demands N10m compensation

By Iyobosa Uwugiaren in Abuja

A suspected member of the Niger Delta Avengers and a former Special Adviser to the Bayelsa State governor on Marine Security, Chief Selky Kile Torughedi, has instituted a legal action against the Department of State Services (DSS) for his continued detention by the agency, insisting he is not a member of the militant group which has claimed responsibility for the wave of attacks on oil assets in the Niger Delta.

Torughedi, who was paraded recently by the DSS for being a suspected member of the militant group and for planning to assassinate one M.B Yahaya, a serving military officer, was also said to be a close associate of ex-militant and fugitive of the law, Chief Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo.

In a suit filled at the High Court of Abuja, his lawyer, Emeka Uchegbulam, averred that since the arrest of Torughedi on June 17, he had not had access to his wife and lawyers.

He asked the court to declare that the arrest and detention of the applicant since June 17, 2016 till date without trial, was illegal, unlawful and oppressive, as it violates his fundamental rights as enshrined under Section 34 and 35 of the 1999 Constitution.

The suit also urged the court to order the respondent, the DSS, to immediately release the suspect, who has been in detention since June 17, 2016 till date at the Department State Services (DSS) headquarters or any of the respondent’s cell for an unknown offence.

The applicant is also asking for N10million only for the psychological, emotional trauma, humiliation, harassment, intimidation and unlawful detention.

The suit further claimed that Torughedi, a.k.a Young Shall Grow, had always been a law abiding citizen, saying after he accepted amnesty he was appointed the special Adviser to the Bayelsa State governor on Marin Security a position he held until the end of the first tenor of the Bayelsa State Government.

“He has helped the Bayelsa State police command to first sea pirates. Most times he funded the fueling gunboats for Bayelsa State police command. He has helped in many ways to fight against kidnap in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area,’’ it added.

“He has rescued a lot of kidnappers in his area. Tell me how this same person can destroy pipelines. It is on record that during the last election Azuzuama was the most peaceful kingdom in Southern Ijaw local government of Bayelsa State (his area).

“The allegation that he carried out surveillance to kill a soldier in Kaduna is a fabrication and imagination of the DSS. People either attempt to commit crime or are arrested to committing same. Nobody is arrested for intention. Even the devil does not know the heart of a man.”