An Abuja Federal High Court on Monday fixed July 7, 2013, as the date to deliver judgment in a suit in which a former National Youth Service Corps member, Alli Bello, is asking it to order the Director-General of the State Security Service and one Mr. Kola James to pay him the sum of N10m as damages for alleged unlawful arrest and detention.
The court presided over by Justice E.S. Chukwu, fixed the date after listening to submissions from counsel for parties in the suit.
However, the DG SSS was not represented by any counsel in the matter.
In the suit filed by his counsel, Mr. Adeniyi Adebisi, Bello also asked the court to declare his arrest, torture and humiliation by the SSS on the instigation of one Kola James, from September 17 to 26, 2012, at the Lagos and Abuja offices of the SSS as illegal and unlawful.
He also wants the court to order the DG SSS and James to apologise to him through a letter published in a national daily, and also reimburse his air ticket from Abuja to Lagos, after he was released from detention on September 26, 2012.
In an affidavit in support of the originating summons, Bello averred that he was wrongfully arrested, detained and tortured by the SSS following a false accusation of armed robbery made against him by James.
According to him, while undergoing his NYSC assignment in Lagos, officers of the SSS invited him for questioning at the security agency’s Lagos office on September 17, 2012.
Bello said he was subsequently detained for four days without being informed of his offence, after which he was moved to the Abuja office of the SSS, where he was brought before James, who alleged that he (Bello) led a three-man gang comprising two men and a lady, that kidnapped, robbed and threatened him in Abuja on August 15, 2012.
He said, “The 2nd respondent went further to say that I was drunk, and claimed that I spoke to him in Hausa Language and Pidgin English, collected his i-pad, blackberry bold 2, jacket, wrist watch and ATM Card and Pin and that I drove to the bank to withdraw money from his account.
“Shocking and revealing as it would be, I had never in my life been to Abuja except on the occasion when I was driven to Abuja by operatives of the SSS on September 21, 2012. I had never driven in my life, neither do I know how to speak Hausa.
“On the day that the 2nd respondent (Kola James) claimed that he was robbed in Abuja, I was at my primary place of assignment at Starfield Schools, Fagba, Agege, in Lagos State, where I taught students Mathematics.”