Glory Okolie, a 21-year-old young woman arrested and enslaved by operatives of the Inspector-General of Police’s Intelligence Response Team (IRT) in Imo State has filed a lawsuit against the Nigerian government at the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice in Abuja over her unlawful detention.

The police had arrested Okolie for allegedly being friends with a suspected member of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

She was later transferred to Abuja, despite efforts by her family members to secure his release.

After 66 days in detention, the police, in a statement on Sunday, said she was arrested for alleged membership of IPOB and for working with one Benjamin Uzoma Emojiri to attack officers and stations in Imo.

Her detention stirred public outcry as many Nigerians, including civil society organisations, have called for her release.

In the fundamental rights suit filed on August 24, Okolie asked the court to mandate the Nigerian government to pay the sum of N100 billion as “general and punitive” damages for “infringing” on her fundamental human rights.

She also asked the court to mandate the government to pay N50 million for “recklessness, bias, malice, failure to perform its statutory duty when the respondent’s officers infringed on her rights.”

“A DECLARATION of this honourable court, that the act of the Respondent in detaining the 1st applicant from the 13th June 2021 till date, without an order of any court permitting same, is a violation of the 1st Applicant’s right to fair hearing and Personal Liberty as enshrined in articles 1, 3, 4, 5, 6 & 7 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act Chapter A9 LFN, 2004,” part of the court documents seen by SaharaReporters read.

“A DECLARATION of this honourable court, that the act of the respondent in detaining the 1st applicant from the 13th June 2021, and beyond 71 (seventy one) days till date ,without an order of any court permitting same, is a violation of the 1st Applicant’s right to fair hearing and Personal Liberty as enshrined in articles 1, 3, 4, 5, 6 & 7 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act Chapter A9 LFN, 2004.

“A DECLARATION that the beating/slapping, torturing, physical assault and verbal/vulgar abuse of the Applicant by the 1st Respondent and the respondents IGP IRT officers, without the applicant committing any crime known to law whatsoever, is illegal, unconstitutional and amounts to a violation of the 1st Applicant’s right to fair hearing and Personal Liberty as enshrined in articles 1, 3, 4, 5, 6 & 7 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act Chapter A9 LFN, 2004.

“A DECLARATION that the usage of the Applicant by the respondent IGP IRT officers by sexually assaulting the 1st applicant, usage of the 1st applicant to wash the respondent officers clothes and usage of the applicant to cook for the respondents IGP IRT officers ,even when the applicant was in the illegal custody of the respondent, and without the applicant committing any crime known to law whatsoever, is illegal, unconstitutional and amounts to a violation of the Applicant’s right to fair hearing and Personal Liberty as enshrined in Section 35 & 36 of the Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) and articles 1, 3, 4, 5, 6 & 7 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act Chapter A9 LFN, 2004.”

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