Court orders FG, OPSH to release Zakka Dung, pay N5m damages

– Army extends Ayem Akpatuma II, Atilogwu Udo, others
– UNDP, Borno disengage Civilian JTF with skills, N34.2m

A Plateau State High Court has ordered the Federal Government and Operation Safe Haven (OPSH) to release Zakka Dung and pay him N5 million for violation of his fundamental rights.

Officers and men of OPSH in Plateau State has arrested the applicants, Zakka Dung and Joel Sunday on January 24, 2019, while playing football at Lome Football Field, Sabon Barki in Jos South Council Area.

They sued the Federal Government, Attorney General of the Federation, Chief of Defence Staff and Commander of OPSH, Major-General Augustine Chris Agundu, through their Counsel, Gyang Zi in suit No: PlD/J/154m2/2019.

Delivering judgement at the weekend, Presiding Judge, Justice Simon Gang ordered the Federal Government and the OPSH to release Zakka Dung, who is still in detention, with immediate effect.

Justice Gang said, “The respondents refused to obey the court order and refused to release the applicants on bail as directed by the court.

“I, therefore, granted all the reliefs sought by the applicants and order the respondents to pay them N5m as general damages and compensation for their unlawful arrest, assault, torture and detention.”

Besides, the Nigerian Army has extended the Ayem Akpatuma II, Atilogwu Udo I and Crocodile Smile IV exercise from December 23, 2019 to January 7, 2020.

The army explained that its decision to extend the exercise was necessitated by the successes recorded in the ongoing operations across the country, especially of Exercise Positive Identification.

It its efforts to combat insecurity across the country, the army, through a statement issued on September 25, 2019, alerted members of the public of the commencement of the routine exercises in the different parts of Nigeria.

All the exercises were scheduled to be conducted concurrently from October 7, 2019, to December 23, 2019.

Acting Director of Army Public Relations, Colonel Sagir Musa, said the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai has reassured Nigerians of army’s resolve to protect lives and property of all law-abiding citizens.

Meanwhile, the High Court No 5 of Plateau State presided over by Justice Daniel D. Lonji had earlier in a ruling delivered on Tuesday, March 5, 2019, granted bail to the applicants.

But in spite of the court order, the respondents only partially obeyed the court after a long time by releasing the second applicant but refused Zakka Dung bail till date.

Meanwhile, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in collaboration with Borno State Ministry of Justice has disengaged 190 members of Civilian JTF after acquiring skills in entrepreneurship and other vocations.

The disengaged members, who affected by a decade of Boko Haram insurgency that claimed several lives and property were drawn from Borno and Yobe states.

UNDP’s Sub Office Head, Mizuho Yokoi, disclosed this during the disengagement ceremony, saying the Civilian JTF members underwent two-week skills acquisition training at the College of Agriculture, Maiduguri.

She said they were also provided with a grant of N180, 000 each for the application of their acquired skills and vocations in their communities.

“Each one of you has been given a grant of N180, 000 to start up your own businesses. You’re to open bank accounts immediately after your disengagement from Civilian JTF before commencing your businesses, enterprises and trades.”

Civilian JTF Coordinator in Borno State, who is Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Kaka Shehu Lawan, said the CJTF was a voluntary security outfit that extended to local government areas in Borno State and to Niger, Chad and Cameroon.

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