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Group Drags Bauchi NDLEA to Court Over Alleged Human Rights Violations, Demands N50m Damages

A human rights organisation, Council for Affirmative Action (COFAA), has sued the Bauchi State Command of the National Drug Laws Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) over alleged human rights violations by its officers, Baba Ayatu, Abubakar Adamu and others. 

As contained in a lawsuit sent to WikkiTimes, the applicant is suing the agency for  “intrusion, unlawful invasion and detention” among others.

READ: Bauchi NDLEA Planning Cover-up for Officers Accused of Brutality, Attempted Rape

Some officers of the agency led by Hayatu (otherwise known as Gombe), had on October 18, 2022, assaulted one Auwal Abdullahi, a resident of Wuntin Dada, a suburb of the Bauchi metropolis. The officers would later raid the victim’s residence where they attempted to rape his wife, Aisha Auwal, according to COFAA).

“One among the officers entered the petitioner’s bedroom and met Aisha Auwal, grabbed, hugged her and in the process, he dragged her and Aisha shouted for help,” COFAA said in a petition addressed to the command on October 24. “The rapist’s phone fell down and he picked up the phone and fortunately he left the memory card inside the bedroom and they all ran away.”

Three days after the rights group petitioned the command, the latter responded in a letter signed by Negedua A. Nathaniel (DCN) Deputy State Commander, demanding that Mbami Iliya Sabka, COFAA’s boss and the victims appear in its office for investigation.

READ: NDLEA Officers Raid Innocent Man’s Home in Plateau, ‘Steal’ N500,000 and Brutalise Him, Family

When the victims alongside representatives of COFAA honoured the invitation, the command forced the victims to recant their allegations against its officers and also detained the members of the rights group for over six hours.

However, Femi Babafemi, the agency’s Director of Media and Advocacy vowed that the agency’s headquarters would follow up to ensure justice.

THE LAWSUIT

In the lawsuit, COFAA wants a court of jurisprudence to declare illegal, the invasion into the house of the couple and the detention of its staff.

The case which will be opened for mention, hearing and adoption on November 28 will be presided over by Justice Kunaza of High Court 2 in Bauchi State.

READ: Bauchi NDLEA Siezes 1,500kg Cannabis

The rights group also wants the court to restrain further manhunt of its staff “except in a manner provided by the law.”

In addition, COFAA demanded N50 million in damages and also sought an apology from the agency to be published in two national dailies.

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