January 22, 2021

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Family seeks justice for soldier detained for 16 months without trial

3 min read

The family of Abubakar Sodiq, a corporal with army number 02NA/52/5366, is seeking justice over his alleged secret detention by the Nigerian Army for about 16 months.

PREMIUM TIMES learnt that Mr Sodiq was arrested on September 9, 2019, and subsequently detained at the military police provost duty room at the headquarters, 2 division, Nigerian Army, Adekunle Fajuyi Cantonment, Ojoo, Ibadan on some allegations not made known to the family.

Since then, he has not been permitted to see any of the family members and has been subjected to various forms of torture, his wife, Mariam Sodiq, has said.

PREMIUM TIMES learnt that since last year when he was arrested, Mr Sodiq has not been reunited with his family or tried by the military.

He has also been denied payment of his salary.

The soldier’s family has approached the federal high court in Ibadan to file a case of an abuse of fundamental human rights against the Nigerian Army, asking the court to compel the military to unconditionally release Mr Sodiq from detention.

The matter was filed on December 10, 2020, through a lawyer, Adedeji Falujo.

He is asking the court to declare that the continuous detention of the Mr Sodiq “since the 9th day of September 2019 till date by the respondent wrongful, unlawful, illegal, unconstitutional and a flagrant violation of the applicant’s fundamental rights”

“An order directing the respondents jointly and severally to forthwith release the applicant from detention unconditionally. An order of injunction restraining the respondents either by themselves, their servants, agents and/or functionaries from further harassing, and wrongly detaining the applicant.”

The family is also seeking N50 million as compensation amongst other reliefs.

No date has been fixed for the hearing.

When contacted about the matter, the General Officer Commanding 2 Division, Nigerian Army in Oyo State, Okwudili Azinta, did not respond to calls and text messages seeking clarification.

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Also, the spokesperson of the Nigerian Army, Sagir Musa, did not respond to calls and messages.

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