Suswam slams N10bn freedom suit on DSS

A former Governor of Benue State, Gabriel Suswam, has filed a N10bn fundamental human rights enforcement suit against the Department of State Services, DSS, over his continued detention.

Also joined in the suit are the Director-General of the DSS, Mr. Lawal Daura, and the Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr. Abubakar Malami.

Suswam, who has been in the custody of the DSS since February 25, 2017, is asking the Federal High Court in Abuja to declare his detention without trial as a violation of his fundamental rights to personal liberty, freedom of movement, and dignity of human person.

The embattled former governor has also prayed the court to release him from detention unconditionally pending the commencement and determination of his trial – should charges be proferred against him.

Represented by former NBA president Mr. Joseph Daudu, SAN, Suswam also asked the court for an order directing the three respondents (the DSS, the DG of DSS and the AGF) to tender a public apology to him “in seven national dailies of very wide circulation for the violation of his rights guaranteed by sections 35(1), 34(1), 35(4), 41(1) of the Nigerian Constitution.”

Furthermore, the plaintiff is demanding the sum of N10bn for exemplary damages over the “illegal arrest and detention”.

Suswam has been besieged with legal battles since vacating office in 2015. The Federal Government recently slapped a 9.7bn fraud suit in connection with embezzled Sure-P funds, weeks after the DSS found weapons on the premises of one of his companies.