Femi Falana (SAN), a human rights lawyer, has threatened to sue the Nigerian Army for “illegal imprisonment” of three Lagosians at the Bonny Camp in Lagos State.
Falana, the Interim Chair of the Alliance on Surviving Covid-19 and Beyond, said in a statement on Tuesday that the three detainees — Messrs Odunayo Obisanya, Obafemi Philip, and Solomon Oguntuga — were detained after they were arrested on the orders of a senior military officer for a breach of contract.
It read, “We have confirmed that Messrs Odunayo Obisanya, Obafemi Philip and Solomon Oguntuga were arrested in Lagos on November 29, 2021 by a team of well-armed soldiers from the Bonny Camp, Lagos. They were taken to the Bonny Camp where they have since been detained in a military detention facility.
“The three gentlemen are alleged to have been detained on the orders of a senior military officer over a breach of contract, a civil wrong. All requests for the release of the detainees from illegal military custody have been ignored without any legal justification.
“Since the authorities of the Nigeria Army have no power whatsoever to arrest and detain citizens who are not subject to service law we are compelled to request the Chief of Army Staff to ensure the immediate and unconditional release of Messrs Odunayo Obisanya, Obafemi Philip and Solomon Oguntuga.
“However, if the military authorities refuse to accede to our request we shall not hesitate to institute an action at the Federal High Court for the enforcement of the fundamental right of the detainees to personal liberty.
“We shall also pray the Court to award damages in their favour and order the trial of the military officers involved in the criminal act of inflicting mental, physical and psychological torture on them in contravention of the Anti Torture Act, 2017.”