The troubles of ex militant, Selki Torughedi, a.k.a Young shall grow, who has been languishing in DSS prison for almost three months may not be over after all.
One month after a federal high court in Abuja discharged and acquitted the Bayelsa –born ex militant, a detachment of combatant soldiers under the aegis of Operation Crocodile Smile invaded his country home residence in Azuzuama, Bayelsa state, in the early hours of Friday, destroyed valuables, molested occupants and desecrated family shrine.
According to his wife, Alaere, the soldiers who were led by the Special Assistant to the Bayelsa state governor on Marine security, Africa Ukparasia, stormed their home in the thick of the night, ruffled up everybody living in the house, broke doors, pull down windows and ceilings, turned the furniture upside down and left with virtually nothing.
Continuing, Alaere said the siege lasted about two hours even as the soldiers who had all the trappings of commandos threatened to come back for another round of assault.
It would be recalled that Selki Torughedi, (Young shall grow) a former Special Assistant to Governor Seriaki Dickson on Maritime security before he moved to Timipre Silver’s camp shortly before the April 2016 gubernatorial election, was arrested in Calabar by the DSS in June 2016 for spurious allegation of pipeline vandalisation, plan to kill government functionaries and being a major sponsor of the Niger Delta avengers.
He was locked up in the DSS cell for over two months without access to his family or legal counsel. When he was eventually brought to court, the DSS slammed him with a 10 count charge bothering on plan to kill some government functionaries, bombing of pipelines and being a major sponsor of the Niger Delta Avengers among others.
A federal high court in Abuja however ordered the DSS to release Mr. Selky Torughedi without any further delay.
Delivering judgment in an application filed by counsel to Selki Torughedi, Emeka Uchegbulam, seeking for the enforcement of his fundamental human rights, Honorable Justice Nnamdi Dimgba absolved Selki of any culpability, saying the DSS erred in law to have detained him for such a length of time without any single tangible evidence.
Justice Dimgba averred that the explanations given by the DSS were wide and very speculative, noting that the justification offered for the continuous incarceration of the suspect were bereft of any shred of evidence. He said the court could only act on the basis of credible evidence.
According to him, the DSS has no single proof to offer to back their claims .Such proof he said could have been in the form of a call log from communication companies showing discussions which the suspect has had with militant members plotting the nefarious activities which the DSS alleged him to be involved in.
It could have been in the form of statements offered by other arrested members pointing out the suspect as their member. The DSS, he said did not even deem it fit to exhibit any confessional statement made by the applicant for the court to evaluate and neither did they explain in what form Selki’s sponsorship of the militant group had taken, whether it was financial, material or just moral sponsorship.
In the absence of such concrete material, Justice Dimgba ruled that” any incarceration that was not backed by order of a competent court is illegal, unconstitutional and must be shot down by the court,” Against this background, the Judge ruled that Selki should go home a free man.
However, over one month after the judgment was given and the DSS’ refusal to obey court order or contest the judgment by filing an appeal, the soldiers carried out its own assault apparently in search of “missing” evidence.