Alleged Illegal Detention: Court Cautions DSS, Agip Over Attempts To Delay Ijaw Activist’s Suit

A Bayelsa State High Court sitting in Yenagoa on Friday cautioned the Department of State Services, DSS, and the Nigerian Agip Oil Company,NAOC, against attempts to delay hearing in the suit filed by an Ijaw youth activist, Comrade Collins Trueman Opumie, over his alleged illegal arrest and detention.

The presiding judge, Justice Duke Charlie, warned the counsel to DSS and Agip to stop attempts to delay the time of the court and adopt all pre-trial addresses and all application processes for the trial.

At the last hearing held on Friday, all parties to the suit adopted their preliminary applications to regularise their processes at the pre-trial conference.

Counsel to the plaintiff, Ebipreye Sese, brought an application before the court to regularise the claimant’s reply attached with further Witness Statement on Oath.

The DSS also applied to regularise their consequential amendment and the police filed their defence.

Counsel to the DSS, George Obiora, also told the court that they may not be able to produce their witnesses because he is attached to a politician involved in the governorship election slated for November 11th this year.

The counsel to Agip told the court that they may also fail to appear on adjourned dates due to the busy nature of their diary and pleaded that the court adjourn till December to afford them time to prepare adequately.

But the presiding judge, Justice Duke Charlie, warned against attempts to delay the court and adjourned the matter till November 1.

The plaintiff, Opumie, had in the suit filed in 2022, demanded the sum of N9 billion in damages over his alleged illegal arrest and detention in an underground facility in Abuja for 730 days on the orders of the management of Agip.