Peace Corps of Nigeria and some of its members on Thursday commenced a lawsuit at the Federal high court sitting in Abuja to enforce their fundamental human rights against the Nigeria Police, the Department of State Service and four others over what they called illegal closure of their offices nationwide and illegal raiding, arrest and detention of their National Commandant, Dickson Akoh and 49 others.
They are demanding N2billion as compensation for the injustice, torture and embarrassment they allegedly suffered during the raid, arrest and detention in police custody.
They hired a former Attorney-General of the Federation, Chief Kanu Agabi (SAN) to handle the case for them.
Bar and Bench Watch reports that a combined team of the Nigeria Police, the DSS and the Nigerian Army had raided the organisation’s new headquarters last week in a commando-style.
In the suit lodged at the registry of the Federal high court, Abuja and now assigned to Justice Gabriel Kolawole, they are asking the court to declare as illegal, unlawful and unconstitutional the arrest of Akoh and other officers of the corps as well as the sealing up of its head office in Abuja and offices in the 36 states of the federation.
Plaintiffs further asked the court to declare that under the 1999 constitution as amended, they have not committed any offence to warrant their arrest, detention and sealing up of their offices across the country as done by the defendants.
The defendants in the court action are Police, IG, National Security Adviser (NSA), DSS, DG-DSS and the AGF who are 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th respondents respectively.
The plaintiffs also asked the court to declare that the sealing up of their office headquarters in Abuja is illegal, unlawful, malicious and unconstitutional having not committed any offence to warrant the unlawful invasion and seizure of properties.
They asked the court to declare that they are entitled to fundamental rights to acquire and own properties, lawful assembly, freedom of movement, personal liberty and dignity of their human persons as guaranteed under sections 34, 35, 40, 41, and 43 of the 1999 constitution.
The plaintiffs, therefore, applied for an order compelling the respondents to unseal the headquarters of the PCN and its offices nationwide.
They also asked the court to order the respondents to release properties seized during their unlawful invasion of the applicants’ office.
Also the applicants prayed the court for an order of perpetual injunction restraining the respondents, their privies or agents from further sealing the applicants’ offices and disrupting their activities, including its meetings and orientation of its members.
They further asked the court for an order restraining the respondents perpetually from further harassing, intimidating, arresting and or detaining the applicants in the course of doing their legitimate and lawful duties.
Hearing will soon commence in the case.