The Nigerian government is currently detaining 101 Boko Haram suspects at the Kirikiri Maximum and Medium Custodial Centres without trial – a facility where they have been put since July 2009 without trial.
SaharaReporters learnt that the suspects were arrested in the North-East and moved to Lagos State where they had also been denied access to members of their families and lawyers.
A group, Prisoners' Rights Advocacy Initiative, has sued the Nigerian Government to court by filing a Fundamental Rights Enforcement Suit on behalf of the 101 Boko Haram suspects.
SaharaReporters, which obtained the court papers and the names of the 101 suspects, gathered that the matter has been fixed for hearing on Monday, March 8, before Justice Liman at the Federal High Court, Ikoyi, Lagos State.
According to the court papers, the counsel for the suspects, Ahmed Adetola-Kazeem, Kelani Isa Kehinde, J.O Yesufu and A.T Bakrin, are seeking the court to make the following orders.
“A declaration that the arrest and continued detention of the Applicants for a period of 11 years since July 2009 without proper arraignment and trial in a court of competent jurisdiction is unlawful, unconstitutional and constitutes an infringement/ violation of their fundamental right to freedom of personal liberty, the right to be tried within reasonable time by an impartial court/tribunal and to respect for the dignity of human person as duly guaranteed and enshrined in the in sections 34, 35 and 41 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Articles 5, 6 and 7 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement Act, 2004).
“A declaration that the arrest, detention and subsequent relocation of the 89th and 33rd applicants to Kirikiri Maximum Custodial centre notwithstanding the existence of a valid Court Order discharging them from prison and directing that they be transported to their locations in Niger Republic amounts to a disregard to a valid court order and a violation of their freedom of movement and personal liberty as duly guaranteed and enshrined in sections 34, 35 and 41 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Articles 5 and 6 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement Act, 2004).
“An order of this court directing the unconditional release of the applicants forthwith,” the papers partly read.
The court papers were served on the Nigerian government with the four respondents listed as: the Attorney-General of the Federation, the Inspector-General of Police, the National Security Adviser and the Controller General of the Correctional Services.