Nigerian Army has begun moves to challenge last Friday’s verdict of the Federal High Court Abuja, which ordered it to pay N11 million to some persons it reportedly detained illegally in Gombe State.
The Army, it was gathered, has directed its legal unit to study the judgment of the trial judge, Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu, which had ordered the Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, to pay N11 million to the 11 Gombe State indigenes.
A source, who refused to be mentioned because he was not authorised to speak to the media, said: “We have not been served with the court judgment, but we’re already aware of the development. When we receive the court order, I hope it will be treated expeditiously.
“I can tell you that the Nigerian Army Legal Unit is studying the development. We shall respond when formally served a court order.
“We are going to study the grounds upon which the court based its judgment and respond appropriately. Certainly, the judgment cannot stand; we are going to appeal it at the Court of Appeal. “
Director of Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Texas Chukwu, neither picked calls nor responded to a text message sent to his known mobile numbers.
Recall that Justice Ojukwu had, last Friday, ordered the Nigerian Army chief to pay N11 million as damages to the 11 Gombe indigenes, citing gross violation of their human rights.
Mrs Ojukwu, in her judgment, said the detention of the applicants since July 6 was illegal and unconstitutional, and ordered their immediate release.
The detainees are James Yusuf, Ishaya Poshiya, Nehemiah Poshiya, Husseini Poshiya, Hamma Poshiya, Yusuf Mafindi, Yila Boyi, James Bare, Ezekiel Dandaudu, Ali Ishaku and Ilya Bala.
She added that the detention of the 11 people was a breach of their fundamental rights and ordered their immediate release.