A Federal High Court sitting in Asaba, the Delta State Capital, has ordered the Department of State Service (DSS) to tender an unreserved apology to son of the South-South Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Tareri Avwomakpa, over his arrest by its operatives in February.
Hon. Justice T.B. Adegoke gave the ruling in a suit No. FHC/ASB/CS/14/2017 filed by Tareri, a Warri-based legal practitioner against the Director General of DSS, and Delta State Director of DSS, following his arrest and detention over a message calling for support for General Overseer, Omega Fire Ministries, Apostle Johnson Suleman.
Operatives of DSS had detained Tareri over an alleged message sent through the social media platform, Whatsapp, which urged Christians in the country to support and accompany Suleman to honour the then invitation by DSS at its head office in Abuja.
Justice Adegoke held that Archbishop God-do-well Avwomakpa son’s arrest was unlawful and unconstitutional, and among other things awarded N250,000 against the Director General and the Delta Director of DSS.
The court ordered the DSS to write a formal letter of apology to the claimant for breach of his constitutional human rights over his arrest and detention in a dark cell at the premises of the service in Asaba.
In his reaction, Tareri dedicated the judgment to Nigerians who have been killed, maimed and are currently suffering oppression for being Christians across the country.
He said, “Court held that (1) my arrest and detention by DSS were unconstitutional; (2) stripping me naked, putting keg cuts on me, putting me in dark cell etc during my detention were unlawful; (3) DSSS should tender apology to me through a formal letter;( 4) and that DSSS to pay me the sum of N250, 000 as damages.”
Tareri thanked members of the Midwest Bar Forum, Nigerian Bar Association and Christian leaders in the country for their support during and after his arrest, and subsequent court victory.