Human rights activist, Senator Shehu Sani, has claimed his continuous detention by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) without trial is a gross violation of his fundamental rights, and is consequently demanding N100million in damages.
Essentially, the ex-lawmaker has dragged the EFCC and the Chairman of ASD Motors, Alhaji Sani Dauda who accused him of extortion, to the Federal High Court, Abuja where a motion on the enforcement of his fundamental rights was heard on Monday, according to the Special Adviser to Sani, Suleiman Ahmed.
In the suit brought by Sani’s counsel, Abdul Ibrahim (SAN) before the court, he claimed that the detention by the EFCC “without charging the applicant to a court of competent jurisdiction within FCT, Abuja is wrongful, unlawful, degrading, oppressive, null and void and thus constitutes infringements of his fundamental right to personal liberty enshrined under Section 35 (5) and (6) of the constitution”.
The lawyer sought for a declaration by the court that the attempt by the EFCC officers to force Sani to carry a bill board with the inscription of the alleged offence of misrepresentation and obtaining money by false pretence and surrounding the applicant with photographers for the purposes of publishing him in the media is contrary to Section 34 (1) and 36 (5) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
He is also seeking a declaration that by virtue of section 34 (1) of the 1999 Constitution, the attempt to publish or actually publish the applicant with a bill board stating the alleged offence is tantamount to criminalizing Sani as a criminal when, at all times, he is constitutionally presumed to be innocent except upon a conviction by a court of law.
Sani’s counsel further asked for “an order of court admitting the applicant (Sani) to bail, pending any further investigation that the 1st Respondent may likely carry out.”
The lawyer wants the court to restrain the respondents from disturbing, interfering, threatening, or tampering with the applicant’s right to liberty or through further threat of invitation, arrest, detention, embarrassment and unnecessary interrogation or in any other way or manner whatsoever.”
Ibrahim sought payment of N100 mIllion jointly or severally by the respondents as damages for the various infractions of the applicant’s fundamental human rights.