Popular Blogger Drags Senatorial Candidate, Natasha Akpoti-Uduaghan To Court Over Alleged Human Rights Violation, Seeks N50m Damages
•How She Insisted I implicates Kogi Govt Officials As Condition For My Release
A popular blogger from Kogi State, Isah Amoto Aliyu, has narrated her ordeal in the hands of a senatorial candidate of the People’s Democratic Party in the state, Natasha Akpoti-Uduaghan, who he said masterminded his alleged “abduction” by policemen without a warrant of arrest.
In a Facebook post, on Thursday evening, Aliyu, who runs the Ebira4Real blog, said, after being harassed and tortured to write a statement in police cell, Akpoti-Uduaghan walked in and insisted that he must implicate three Kogi government officials, specifically her opponent in the senatorial race, and two others simply identified as “Atimpo and Hi-speed”, before he could be released.
According to the blogger, the allegations against the officials she mentioned as it concerned him were strange to him, so he refuted them and remained in detention for 14 days.
He made these revelations as documents emerged, showing that he had dragged the PDP Senatorial Candidate before a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja over human rights violation and illegal detention before his eventually release.
Aliyu, in an originating summon, pursuant to Sections 34 and 35 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, sought an order of the court to compel Natasha to compensate him with the sum of N50 million as damages for his alleged unlawful arrest and detention.
In his Facebook post on the ordeal, he wrote, “On the 15th of February, 2023 at around 08:50am, I was abducted (they never showed me any arrest warrant) by some policemen in Lokoja and taken to the FCT Police Command in Abuja. It was when I got there that I was served a petition from the Kogi Central PDP Senatorial Candidate, Natasha Akpoti and her husband, with Ebira4real Media and my friend, Zamil as defendants, respectively.
“The petition read: ‘Criminal Conspiracy, Defamation of Character, Cyber Bullying and Stalking of Chief Emmanuel Uduaghan and Chief Barr. Natasha H Akpoti Uduaghan’. The references included four (4) posts from Ebira4Real’s page from February 2022 to November 2022.
“After glancing through the petition, I demanded to speak with my lawyer before making any statement. They refused, just as they had seized my phone and proceeded to harassing and torturing me into making statement. Having written the statement under torture, I was taken to an office where I was made to await the arrival of the petitioner. She came few hours later with some of her boys whom I have known and related with over the years.
“She made so many verbal accusations, some of which are that I stalked, bullied her and her entire family since 2019. She said I was being sponsored against her. I sought privacy with her to debunk all these spurious allegations, but she paid no heed, rather gave me conditions to meet if I wanted to be released.
“They include: mentioning either Atimpo, Hi-speed or Ohere as my sponsors.
that I tell her where Yahaya Bello hid guns to be used against her in the elections.
tell her what my business in the Govt house was (if I was doing dirty deals for the govt).
;tender a public apology on Ebira4real, after which the page should be brought down.
“Because all of these allegations were strange to me, I denied them all and tried to make her see reasons why I was not the person she thought she had. At this point when she laid all of these down, my lawyer had turned up.”
“In summary, that was how yours sincerely landed at the former SARS detention center popularly known as ‘abbatoir’. It took them my entire stay there (14 days) for them to come up with a charge before eventually arraigning me. Upon arraignment, my lawyers were right at the door,” he narrated.
In the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/257/2023 and filed on February 23, 2023, Aliyu, through a team of his counsels, led by Bala I. Dakum, prayed the court to invoke Order 2 Rule 1 of the Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure) Rules 2009 and order his immediate and unconditional release from the police custody.
The Applicant also sought an order of perpetual injunction restraining Natasha Akpoti-Uduaghan and other Respondents, their privies, agents, officers or representatives, from further arresting and/or harassing him based on the facts leading to the application.
The prayers of the Applicant read in full, “The applicant praying the court for the following reliefs:
“A declaration that the arrest and continued detention of the Applicant since the 15th February, 2023 by the 1st and 2nd Respondents, their privies, agents, officers or representatives at the instance of the 3rd respondent is illegal, unlawful, null and void and amounts to gross violation of his fundamental rights as enshrined in the Sections 35 and 36 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).
“An order of this honourable court directing the respondents to immediately release the applicant unconditionally
“An order of this honourable court directing the respondents to jointly and severally pay the applicant the sum of N50,000,000 (Fifty Million Naira) only for unlawful arrest and detention.
“An order of this honourable court directing the Respondents to tender a formal apology to the Applicant by publishing same in two National Daily Newspapers.
“An order of perpetual injunction restraining he Respondents, its privies, agents, officers or representatives, from further arresting and/or harassing the Applicant based on the facts leading to this application.
“Such further order(s) as this honourable court may deem fit to make circumstances of this case.”