An Ijaw Youth Activists, Comrade Collins Trueman Opumie, has dragged the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC), the authorities of the Department of State Security (DSS), and the Nigerian Police Force to the State High Court sitting in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State over his illegal arrest and detention in underground detention facilities in Abuja for 730 days.
According to Comrade Collins Trueman Opumie, in the suit numbered YHC/324/2022, who is demanding the sum of N9billion in damages, is praying the court to declare that his arrest, torture, and subsequent detention without proper food and medical attention and access to family members for two years is a gross violation of his fundamental rights to dignity as a person.
In his eight prayers before the Court, Opumie sought the order of the court against the defendants jointly and severally “for damages suffered as a result of the false imprisonment for two (2) years under the custody of the DSS (2nd set of defendants) in their prison facilities without bail or arraignment in a court of law at the instance of the Agip (1st set of defendants) false and malicious complaints/reports against him”.
“An injunction restraining the 2nd and 3rd set of defendants from further harassing or attempts to arrest and detain the claimant at the instance of the 1st set of defendants.”
Opumie, who is an indigene of the Opuama Community in the Southern Ijaw Local Government area of the State and among Niger Delta Youths that embraced the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), in his statement of claims, accused the DSS in Yenagoa of allegedly abducting him at the instance of the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) in a Gestapo style, physically and mentally torture him, tie and throw him into the boot of a vehicle and taken to Abuja like a common criminal without the knowledge of his family and access to medical care.
According to Opumie, his trivial started in February 2016 when he was awarded a supply of AGO by the Former NAOC General Manager District, Mr. Marco Rotondi with a directive for him to three million liters monthly” upon the directive that my company made among top three bidders be considered for the AGO supply jobs, some Agip staff including one Barr. Dennis showed signs of malice and deliberate acts of extortion.”
“I was called and accused of planning with High Chief Government Ekpemupolo also known as Tompolo to attack the oil pipelines and Agip facilities in Southern Ijaw. I denied such an accusation vehemently. And asked them how can a man that stands to benefit from Agip be the person plotting an attack against them.? After the phone conversation with the head of Agip Security. I was abducted by some armed men, who I later discovered were DSS operatives, in from of the Federal Medical Centre on the 2nd of August, 2016”.
“Without formal charge against me, I was taken out of DSS custody at midnight and taken to the Yenagoa cemetery with threats to extra-judicial killing and bury me in an unidentified grave if I don’t agree to their claim that I sent Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) a text threatening to blow up their facilities. With heavy sounds of gunshots and threats, I agreed but later insisted in their custody in Abuja that it was under duress”
“I was masked and thrown into a vehicle and all through the journey to Abuja, I was denied food and water. And I was bleeding from my mouth, nose, ears, eyes, and penis as a result of the injuries occasioned by the immense torture and abuse of my body by the DSS operatives at the instance and prompting of the Nigerian Agip Oil Company. And was kept in their detention facility in Abuja known as the “Hot Room” for two years.”
“My freedom started when I secretly sent a message to my family from the hospital bed in Abuja where I was rushed to by the DSS operative when I nearly bled to death in detention. And the quick intervention of Governor Douye Diri who was then a member of the Federal House of Representatives. He raised my issue on the floor of the National Assembly and the Speaker ordered that the DSS either charge me to a court or release me unconditionally.”
A hearing in the matter has been fixed for Wednesday 15th of March, 2023.
Leave a Reply