Okuama Killings: Ex-council boss files N2bn rights suit against Nigerian army

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Mr Lucky Okodeh, a former Caretaker Chairman, Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa, has sued the Nigerian army for allegedly publishing his photograph among those wanted in connection to the killing of 17 soldiers in Okuama in Delta.

Okodeh, in the suit filed before Justice Binta Nyako of a Federal High Court, Abuja by his lawyer, Femi Falana, SAN, prayed the court to award a N2 billion in damages against the respondents for alleged violation of his rights to personal liberty and dignity.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Falana, in the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/590/2024 dated and filed on May 3, had sued the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) and Chief of Army Staff (CAS) as 1st and 2nd respondents.

The applicant prayed the court to set aside his declaration and award the fine as compensation for damages suffered over the action of the Defence Headquarters Abuja.

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Okodeh averred that the action had affected his political career and made him to go into hiding.

It will be recalled that on March 14, 17 officers of the Nigerian Army were murdered by unknown persons in Okuama in Delta, causing the Defence Headquarters Abuja to declare 8 persons wanted.

Though Okodeh’s name was not published among the wanted list, his photograph was posted on a name which was not his, which he also said no member of his family or extended family bears.

Okodeh, who was earlier the chairmanship candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) for the April 11 LG elections in the state, was forced to drop his name and substitute it with another candidate following the publication of his photograph in the wanted list.

Although the matter was fixed for mention on Monday, the case could not proceed due to the absence of Justice Nyako in court.

The judge was said to be on another official assignment.

NAN observed that Okodeh’s lawyer, Falana, and the respondents’ counsel, Mike Ebah, were in court.

The matter was, therefore, fixed for Oct. 17 for mention.

Other prayers sought in the suit include an order of perpetual injunction restraining the CDS and CAS from arresting him as he is a law-abiding citizen of Nigeria who had never had any criminal record right from childhood.

He equally prayed the court to order the respondents to tender an apology which should be published on both print and electronic media, so that he could have his freedom to live his normal life.(NAN)

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