The court’s verdict came as the group awaits the judgment of the Supreme Court on Kanu’s case scheduled to be delivered on December 15.
Kanu’s counsel, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, said the persons granted freedom were being illegally held in various detention facilities of the security agencies, and those facing one form of charge or the other.
Ejiofor, in a statement on Thursday said Justice M.O. Olajuwon of a Federal High Court in Abuja in charge with No: FHC/ABJ/CR/475/2021, between the Federal Government and Maria Ezediaro discharged her “of all frivolous criminal allegation/charge brought against her before the court.”
He said, “She was arrested on February 26 2021 when she visited the State CID, Owerri, Imo State Command to give food and medication to her friend who was detained there, and was subsequently transferred to the Inspector-General of Police Intelligence Response Team detention facility in “Abattoir”, Abuja, where she was subjected to all forms of inhuman treatment, severe torture and degradation.
“Also in a journey, she vividly recalls being the only survivor among many innocent Biafrans that were brought along with her. However, following the refusal of the police to release her or charge her to court, we filed a fundamental rights enforcement suit on her behalf before the Federal High Court Abuja.
“Still on our application, she was granted bail by the court on the 21st Day of April 2022 and consequently released to us upon perfection of the bail conditions.
“On October 10, 2023, following our application and submissions before the court, the Federal High Court, Abuja per Hon. Justice M.O. Olajuwon struck out the four-count terrorism charge filed against Mrs. Maria Ezediaro and consequently discharged her.”
Also, Justice V.S. Gaba of a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory in Abuja discharged the Pastor of the Holy Trinity Sabbath Church, Orlu Imo State, Cletus Nwachukwu Egole; his wife, Ifeyinwa Egole; a Prophet of Jewish Faith, Michael Uba, Ugochukwu Samuel; and Raphael Idang.
However, the court also granted them N100 million compensatory damages against the police.
The Imo State Police Command arrested and paraded them on 21st of March, 2021, before they were transferred to the IGP Intelligence Response Team detention facility in “Abattoir”, Abuja.
“On September 19, 2023, after several adjournments, the FCT High Court per Hon. Justice V.S. Gaba delivered judgment in the said suit. The court granted all the reliefs sought and consequently declared amongst others, that the arrest and detention of the applicants particularly Cletus Nwachukwu Egole, Michael Uba and Ugochukwu Samuel, since March 28 2021 till date, is illegal and unconstitutional.
“The court consequently directed that they be released unconditionally within three days of delivery of the judgment. The court further awarded compensatory damages in the sum of N100 million. in favour of the applicants”, Ejiofor said.
Justice Z.B. Abubakar of a Federal High Court in Abuja also ordered the release of Ngozichukwu Ada-Dav and awarded N30 million compensatory damages in her favour.
Ada-Dav was arrested in June 2021 by operatives of the Nigeria Police Force and thereafter taken to the IGP/IRT located in Ikeja GRA where she was detained in unlawful custody till 3rd of July, 2021, when she was transferred to the Garki Command, of the Nigeria Police, notoriously known as the Abattoir.
Ejiofor filed a fundamental rights enforcement suit on behalf of Ngozichukwu Ada-Dav before the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory Abuja, in Suit No: CV/2089/2021.
The suit was filed on 24th of August, 2021, following the refusal of the Police to release her.
He said, “Following the release of Ngozichukwu Ada-Dav and in view of the horrendous torture she experienced in the hands of the operatives of the Nigeria Police, on August 30, 2022, we commenced another fundamental rights enforcement suit, seeking damages on account of the gross violation of her fundamental rights, before the Federal High Court in Suit No: FHC/ABJ/1546/2022.
“On October 6, 2023, the Federal High Court Abuja, per Hon. Justice Z.B. Abubakar, delivered judgment in the said suit. The court granted all the reliefs sought, and consequently declared, that the arrest and detention of Ngozi Ada-Dav from the 28th day of June 28 2021 till September 15, 2021, is illegal and unconstitutional.
“The court also made an order of perpetual injunction restraining the Nigeria Police, the Inspector General of Police, and their agents, from further harassing, intimidating, or threatening to arrest her. The court further awarded compensatory damages in the sum of N30 million.”