The Federal High Court, Abuja, yesterday, ordered the Department of State Service, DSS and the Minister of Youth and Sports, Solomon Dalung, to pay the sum of N20 million as compensation to the Special Assistant to the Senate President on Youth Matters, Ikenga Ugochinyere, over what it called illegal arrest and detention.
The development came as the youth activist, in a statement, alleged that the DSS had perfected plans to re-arrest him over trumped-up charges that would not be bailable.
He said the plan of the secret service was aimed at remanding him in prison for allegedly refusing to be silent in the political travails of the Senate President. Ugochinyere, who is also the President of the National Youth Council of Nigeria, NYCN, had dragged the duo before the court for alleged breach of his fundamental human rights , illegal arrest and detention for about a month.
The court, presided over by Justice J. T. Tsoho, also ordered the DSS and the minister to tender unreserved apologies to the youth leader, in two national dailies for what it described as unconstitutional detention of the youth leader. The ruling was in pursuant of section 34, 35(1) 36, 40 of the 1999 constitution.
The President of the NYCN had in a case, FHC (ABJ) (CS) 342/2016, insisted that his arrest and detention by DSS for about a month was a violation of his fundamental human rights. But the court, in a ruling, however barred the DSS or similar security agencies from arresting or detaining him.
The Judge declared the arrest and detention of Ikenga as unlawful, unconstitutional, oppressive, malicious and a gross violation of his freedom of movements; and also went further to order the Minister of Youths and Sports, Solomon Dalung and DSS to tender public apology to Ikenga in two national dailies.
Justice Tsoho, in his ruling, also restrained DSS from further arresting Barr. Ikenga or preventing him in the discharge of his duties as President of National Youth Council of Nigeria or any other manner infringing on his fundamental rights