…asks court to dismiss suit
By Ise-Oluwa Ige
ABUJA—The State Security Service, SSS, Tuesday, told a Federal high court sitting in Abuja that Chief Raymond Dokpesi, the Director-General of the Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida Presidential Campaign Organisation was serially quizzed by its men because of unassailable evidence linking him to the October 1, 2010 bomb blasts in Abuja which claimed more than 10 innocent lives.
The SSS which described as laughable the N100 million suit instituted by Dokpesi against it for questioning him over his alleged role in the callous act urged the high court to dismiss the suit in limine.
In a statement filed by the SSS in court, the SSS said it was hinging its request for the dismissal of the case on the ground that Dokpesi’s suit was an invitation on the court to gag it from performing its statutory functions of probing crimes and security issues.
This position of the SSS as contained in the preliminary objection filed to Dokpesi’s suit was prepared by Dr Alex Aigbe Izinyon, SAN.
According to Dr. Izinyon in the objection, he said that Dokpesi’s suit could not be described as anything less meaningless in view of the fact that the SSS was statutorily empowered to invite any person for questioning on matters bordering on national security, including the applicant (Dokpesi).
He said if the court should countenance his suit, the trial judge would be creating an impression that Dokpesi is above the law.
Hear him: “the issue in this case which led to the invitation of the Applicant (Dokpesi) by the 1st Respondent (SSS) relates to bomb blasts where several innocent Nigerians lost their lives. It has to do with State Security which the 1st Respondent is legally empowered to investigate.
“Edmond Ebiware, a suspect arrested in connection with the said bomb blasts during investigation admitted meeting the applicant [Dokpesi] some days before the said bomb blast and also further admitted receiving N4 million from the applicant
“Pursuant to its constitutionally guaranteed powers of investigation, the 1st Respondent invited the Applicant for questioning following the aforesaid statements made by Edmond Ebiware. In the process of his investigation, the applicant was granted bail and requested to show up for further investigation”, he said even as he asked where the SSS had gone wrong.
He therefore argued that the action brought by Dokpesi, seeking “a declaration that the arrest, detention, harassment and undue questioning of the applicant on the false, malicious and baseless allegation of implication in the bomb blasts which occurred on October 1, 2010 at the Eagle Square, Abuja constitutes a gross violation of the rights of the applicant and is unlawful and unconstitutional was on a poor footing and therefore could not be granted in law.
His words: “His claim is not one the court can take cognizance of for it has disclosed no cause of action. The plaintiff cannot expect a judicial fiat preventing a law officer in the exercise of his constitutional power. This issue is resolved in favour of the appellant.”
Meanwhile, the revelation contained in the SSS’ preliminary objection no doubt has rested the controversies generated by the spokesperson of the service, Marilyn Ogar when she denied that the interrogation of the media chief had nothing to do with the bomb blasts, only to recapitulate barely 24 hours after.
Izinyon also argued that the court lacked the jurisdiction to venture into the claims of the applicant as it was tantamount to inviting the court to tie up the hands of the respondent backward and impede its efforts to promote national security.
Consequently, he urged the court to refuse the reliefs sought by Dokpesi and dismiss the suit for being “vexatious, frivolous and constituting gross abuse of judicial process.”
Dokpesi, had, in his suit, prayed for the following reliefs:
*A declaration that the Applicant, not being involved in or in any way associated with the person or persons, organization or organizations responsible for the bomb blast which occurred on the 1st day of October, 2010 at the Eagle Square Abuja, has committed no offence to warrant his continued arrest or detention or questioning or harassment or intimidation by 1st Respondent as a suspect in that connection.
*A declaration that the arrest, detention, harassment and undue questioning of the Applicant on the false, malicious and baseless allegation of implication in the bomb blast which occurred on the 1st day of October, 2010 at the Eagle Square, Abuja constitutes a gross violation of the rights of the Applicant and is unlawful and unconstitutional.
*A declaration that the Applicant is entitled to his rights to freedom of movement, personal liberty and human dignity as guaranteed and enshrined in the 1999 Constitution and Articles 5, 6 and 14 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Right.
* The sum of N100,000,000.00 (One Hundred Million Naira) as damages for the unlawful and unwarranted infringement by the Respondent of the Applicant’s right to freedom of movement, personal liberty and human dignity