LAGOS — A Nigerian, Jacob Ajomale, who alleged that he was maltreated by the United States’ Immigration and Customs Enforcement, ICE, officers, by forcefully inserting a tracking device (chip) in his body through his anus, has petitioned the United Nations Council on Human Rights over alleged inhuman treatment meted to him.
Ajomale through his lawyer, Mr Femi Falana, SAN, claimed that the chip was inserted in him in December 2010.
Falana in the petition to the UN, is urging the world body to direct the United States to remove the tracking device from Ajomale’s body with immediate effect.
Besides, Ajomale has also sued United Airlines and the Nigerian Minister of Internal Affairs before a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, demanding $100 million and N100 million damages for the violation of his fundamental rights to dignity of human person and right to mental and physical health as guaranteed by Sections 35 and 41 of the Constitution and Articles 6 and 12 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act.
Ajomale had averred in an affidavit that he has been living in the United States since April 12, 1997 with a visiting visa and became a permanent resident in February 2008, and never had any criminal record all through the period.
According to him, on January 22, 2009, he travelled to Nigeria for his father’s burial and on his way back, he was arrested on February 5, 2009 by one officer, Derrick, at the BWI Airport in Baltimore, Maryland, kept in a cold room for nine hours, where he was tortured in order to make an incriminating statement of using falsified passport in 2001.
He was subsequently arraigned, tried, convicted and sentenced to six months imprisonment at the DC jail and Rivers Correction Centre, all in North Carolina.
According to Ajomale, he was released back to the community on August 11, 2009 at 7pm, after being cleared by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, ICE, but surprisingly, he was arrested again by the same officer, Derrick, on August 15, 2009 on the ground that his release from detention was a mistake.
He said: “While in detention at Worchester Detention Centre Snow Hill, Maryland, an ICE officer, William Malone told me I could be released but it was going to cost me money. I told my lawyer about it who reported to senior ICE officers. Investigation was carried out and Officer Michelle Rawlings interrogated me and promised to get back to me, which she never did. Afterwards I became the target of all the officers.
“I was hospitalised on July 12, 2010 at Atlantic hospital for sinusitis and body weakness, but was discharged without adequate treatment. I was maltreated by three officers, who flung me on an empty steel bed, and I put in a grievance report concerning the issue. In August, 2010, I was moved to Frederick Detention Centre, Maryland, and the same aggression continued against my person. I felt some vibration on my bed and reported to the authorities but no action was taken.”