Nigeria: Court Declares Govt's Deportation of Cameroonian Separatist Leader Illegal

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28 November 2019

The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, on Thursday, declared the arrest, detention and deportation of Cameroonian separatist leader, Dr Egbe Ogork, by the Federal Government in 2018, as illegal.

The court, in a judgement that was delivered by Justice Ahmed Mohammed, held that the office of the National Security Adviser, NSA, acted unconstitutionally when it deported the Applicant who is one of the separatist leaders in Southern Cameroon, without a court order.

Aside from declaring the arrest, detention and deportation of the Applicant null and void, the court awarded a cost of N5million as general and aggravated damages against the NSA and the Attorney General of the Federation, who were cited as Respondents in the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/271/2019.

The Applicant who is married to a Nigerian and a Professor of Engineering at the Bayero University Kano had in a suit he filed through his lawyer, Mr Femi Falana, SAN, challenged his arrest and deportation, insisting that it amounted to gross violation of his fundamental human rights.

In a supporting affidavit that was deposed to by Mr Marshal Abubakar, the Applicant said he was billed to attend a meeting at Nera Hotels in Abuja on January 7, 2018, when he was apprehended and subsequently deported to Cameroon on Friday, January 26, 2018, by the NSA without an order of the court.

The Applicant told the court that he is a Nigerian citizen by naturalization, Cameroonian by birth and has been lecturing at the Bayero University for over two decades.

Consequently, among other reliefs, he prayed the court for: "A declaration that the arrest and detention of the Applicant from January 7, 2018, till Friday January 26, 2018, without being charged to court for a known offence is Illegal and unconstitutional as it violates the Applicant's fundamental rights to personal liberty, dignity of person and fair hearing as enshrined in sections 34, 35 and 36 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, I999 (as amended) and Articles 5, 6 and 7 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act (CAP A10) Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

"A Declaration that the detention of the Applicant from January 7, 2018 till Friday January 26, 2018, by the 1st Respondent without granting him access to his family, lawyers, medical doctors, is illegal and unconstitutional as it violates the Applicant's fundamental rights to private and family life, legal representative and health as enshrined in Section 35 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, I999 (as amended) and Article 16 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act (CAP A10) Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

"A declaration that the deportation of the applicant from Nigeria to Cameroon by the Respondents on Friday, January 26, 2018 is illegal and unconstitutional as it violates the Applicant's fundamental rights to personal liberty guaranteed by section 35 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) and Article 6 and 12 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act (CAP A10) Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004".

An order directing the Respondents to bring the Applicant back to Nigeria forthwith, as well as an order directing the Respondents to pay N1billion as general and aggravated damages for his illegal detention from Nigeria.

More so, the Applicant, through his lawyer prayed the court to restore his permanent residence status in Nigeria.

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