OAU Lecturer Launches Legal Battle Against Colonel and Police CP, Alleging Harassment
In a significant legal development, Professor Chijioke Uwasomba, a respected academic at Obafemi Awolowo University, has initiated legal proceedings against Colonel Abubakar Alkali of the Special Investigation Bureau, Nigeria Army Military Police. The professor alleges harassment and a violation of his fundamental human rights, demanding N10 million in exemplary damages for what he claims is a “wrongful invitation” and a “threat to arrest him without legal justification” by the military.
In the lawsuit filed under case number W/7744/23, the Federal Capital Territory High Court is also named as the second respondent. Represented by his legal team, Onyeisi Chiemeke and Abdul Mahmud, Professor Uwasomba asserts that he has been subjected to a series of intimidating invitations with threats of arrest by the police, based on what he believes to be a breach of an agreement by Colonel Alkali.
The plaintiff is seeking a declaration that the orders for his invitation and arrest, allegedly issued by the police at the behest of Colonel Alkali, were wrong, unlawful, illegal, and in violation of his fundamental rights to personal liberty and freedom of movement as enshrined in Sections 35, 41, and 44 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, and Articles 6, 12, and 14 of the African Charter of Human and Peoples Rights, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
Professor Uwasomba is petitioning the court to restrain the respondents, their representatives, agents, or any law enforcement agency acting under their instructions from engaging in further threats, harassment, arrests, or detention of himself and his family. He contends that such actions infringe upon his rights to human dignity, personal liberty, freedom of movement, and the right to work, all of which are protected by Sections 34, 35, 37, and 41 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999.
Furthermore, Professor Uwasomba is requesting the court to declare that neither Colonel Abubakar Alkali nor the FCT Commissioner of Police possesses the legal authority, as per the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria or any other relevant statute or instrument, to threaten, harass, arrest, or detain him in violation of his fundamental rights as outlined in Sections 35, 37, and 41 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999.
At present, no specific date has been set for the hearing of this case, which underscores the significance of the legal battle ahead.