Falana Writes FCT CJ Over 150 Persons in Military Detention
Posted: 26/Jun/2019

A human rights activist Femi Falana has written to the Chief Judge of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, Justice Abdu Kafarati, asking him to  ensure that the civilians  being  detained at  various military detention centres  in the country are  tried without delay.
In the letter dated June 25, 2019,  the Senior Advocate of Nigeria said the Nigerian Navy had ignored calls  for the release of “about 150 persons held in naval detention facilities in Lagos, Abuja, Calabar, Warri and Port Harcourt”.
He added that the court orders directing the navy to release of some of the detainees were  treated with contempt.
Citing Section 34 (4) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015,  Falana said the law stipulated that  high court judges  should visit the  detention facilities of  the Federal Government agencies authorised to make arrests.
The senior lawyer  on May 19 wrote  to  President Muhammadu Buhari, asking him to intervene by ensuring  the release or trial of 40 citizens kept incommunicado by the  navy in various detention facilities.
Falana, while listing the detainees in his letter, had said his firm received “petitions from the family members of the citizens being detained without trial by the Nigerian Navy”.
However, in a follow-up letter dated June 25 to the FCT Chief Judge, he  called  for chief magistrates and federal high court judges to be made  to visit the detention  centres.
The letter partly reads, “In order to end the illegal detention of criminal suspects and political detainees in the country, the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 has made copious provisions for pretrial detention, detention time limits and monthly inspection of all police stations by chief magistrates designated by the Chief Judge of each state.
“It is further provided by Section 34(4) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 that judges of the high court having jurisdiction shall visit all detention facilities of other Federal Government agencies authorised to make arrests. During such visits, the judges or the chief magistrates shall have the power to grant bail or order the release of a suspect or order their arraignment.”
It added, “The authorities of the Nigerian Navy have ignored our demand  that  about 150 persons held in naval detention facilities in Lagos, Abuja, Calabar, Warri and Port Harcourt be released. In fact, the orders of courts directing the Nigerian Navy to release of some of the detainees have been treated with contempt.”