Nigeria: Court Strikes Out Ex-Boko Haram's Spokesperson's N500 Million Damages Suit

10 October 2019

An FCT High Court, Maitama, on Thursday struck out a N500 million aggravated suit filed by a former spokesperson of Boko Haram, Ali Konduga.

Samira Bature, the judge, struck out the suit following an application for discontinuance filed by Mr Konduga's counsel, Mohammed Tola, dated October 7 and filed on October 8.

Justice Bature noted that the respondents had earlier pointed out that the court had no jurisdiction to handle the matter and with the motion for discontinuance by the applicant, the suit was struck out.

Mr Konduga dragged the Director-General, State Security Services (SSS) and the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, over alleged breach of his fundamental rights.

On October 3, Emmanuel Edu, holding the brief of Mr Tola, told the court that their client intended to discontinue the suit.

Clementine Nebo, counsel for the Attorney General of the Federation, did not object to the notice of withdrawal but said a proper motion should be presented to the court.

In view of this, Mr Konduga's counsel then prayed for a short adjournment to enable them file motion for withdrawal.

Mr Konduga, through his counsel, Mr Tola, filed a suit, alleging that he was kept in detention for an extra three years after serving his three-year jail term before he was released in 2016.

Mr Konduga was convicted by a Chief Magistrates' Court in Abuja and sentenced to three years imprisonment for criminal intimidation in 2011.

'Breach of fundamental rights'

In his suit, Mr Konduga claimed that he was kept in the custody of the SSS instead of the conventional prison to serve his term because the government wanted him to serve as a key witness to prove a terrorism charge against a senator in a Federal High Court in Abuja.

He further stated as of the time of his release, he was never called to testify in the matter or any other matter.

Mr Konduga said he was taken to the SSS's office in Maiduguri on September 8, 2016, and was released on September 9, 2016, to his parents.

He alleged that the SSS offered his family N700,000 when he was released, and informed his family that the money was meant for his medical treatment.

The gesture, Mr Konduga said, showed that the SSS knew he was entitled to compensation for his illegal and unlawful detention, adding that the Service refused to pay him any other compensation except the N700,000.

He further stated that some individuals attacked him after he was released in 2016 and he sustained head injury from the attack.

He added that as a result of the injury he sustained, the police from GRA Police Station, Maiduguri, Borno, took him into protective custody and later referred him to the Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital in Maiduguri.

He, therefore, demanded an unreserved public apology in three national newspapers.

Mr Konduga also prayed for an order of the court, directing the respondents to jointly and severally pay him N500 million as aggravated damages and compensation for the illegal, unconstitutional, and unlawful detention.

NAN

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