Human rights activist and National President of Revolutionary Lawyers’ Forum, Mr Tope Akinyode, has said that he would institute contempt proceedings against Nigeria’s Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, and Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami (SAN), over their refusal to obey court orders directing the release of a detained soldier, Lance Corporal Martins Idakpini.
The soldier was arrested and detained shortly after condemning Nigeria’s military chiefs including Buratai in a video over their poor handling of the fight against Boko Haram terrorists in the Northern part of the country.
On July 22, 2020, Justice Chikere of the Federal High Court, Abuja, ordered the release of Idakpani after his lawyer argued an ex parte application.
Despite serving Buratai and Malami copies of the court orders, they have refused to release the detained soldier.
Announcing plans for the contempt proceedings on Monday in a statement, Akinyode said, “We have served copies of the court order on both the Chief of Staff and the AGF. Also, I have personally discussed with the AGF over the issue and he assured me that the court order would be complied with, however, the reverse has been the case.
“Lance Corporal Martins has been brutalised, subjected to a great deal of dehumanising treatment, denied access to food and has therefore developed ulcer.
“The detained soldier has also been secretly moved to Sokoto to face a court martial and the military is illegally forcing a lawyer on him.
“We have considered the available legal options and since all the civil overtures to ensure compliance with the court order has broken down, we shall immediately proceed to court tomorrow and commence a committal for contempt proceedings against the Chief of Army Staff and the AGF.”