Falana Demands Release Of Three Citizens Detained By Nigerian Army Since November In Lagos Over Alleged Contract Breach

Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, has asked the Nigerian Army authorities to release three citizens, Odunayo Obisanya, Obafemi Philip and Solomon Oguntuga, who are being detained at the Bonny Camp Cantonment in Lagos.

Falana on Saturday disclosed that the three Nigerians were being detained on the orders of a senior military office since November 29, 2021 over alleged contract breach.

Femi Falana (SAN)

The detainees have also been held despite legal interventions, Falana revealed.

Falana, who is Interim Chair of the Alliance on Surviving COVID-19 and Beyond, noted that if the military authorities refused to accede to “our request, we shall not hesitate to institute an action at the Federal High Court for the enforcement of the fundamental right of the detainees to personal liberty”.

In a statement on Saturday, the human rights lawyer said, “We have confirmed that Messrs Odunayo Obisanya, Obafemi Philip and Solomon Oguntuga were arrested in Lagos on November 29, 2021 by a team of well-armed soldiers from the Bonny Camp, Lagos. They were taken to the Bonny Camp where they have since been detained in a military detention facility. 

“The three gentlemen are alleged to have been detained on the orders of a senior military officer over a breach of contract, a civil wrong. All requests for the release of the detainees from the illegal military custody have been ignored without any legal justification. 

“Since the authorities of the Nigeria Army have no power whatsoever to arrest and detain citizens who are not subject to service law we are compelled to request the Chief of Army Staff to ensure the immediate and unconditional release of Messrs Odunayo Obisanya, Obafemi Philip and Solomon Oguntuga. 

“However, if the military authorities refuse to accede to our request we shall not hesitate to institute an action at the Federal High Court for the enforcement of the fundamental right of the detainees to personal liberty. 

“We shall also pray the court to award damages in their favour and order the trial of the military officers involved in the criminal act of inflicting mental, physical and psychological torture on them in contravention of the Anti Torture Act, 2017.”

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