After several months on incarceration in dungeon despite the ruling of the courts for his immediate release,a lawyer Barr Emeka Uchegbulam has petitioned Amnesty International over the continued detention of his client Selky Torughedi aka Yong Shall Grow a former agitator and activist.               

This is a copy of the letter as obtained by CKN News                                                            

5th December, 2016

The Country Director,
Amnesty International,

 Your Excellency,

We are writing this letter to you as an institution, and an individual that believes in sanctity of human rights, the rule of law, equity and justice and an advocate of the rights of the common man to live without let or hindrance from the powers that be.

We wish to bring to your attention the unlawful arrest, torture and continued incarceration of our client, Selky Torughedi, aka Young shall grow in the hands of Nigeria secret police, DSS in the last six months despite court judgment that he should be set free.

As we write this letter. Selky is languishing in DSS prison, he is seriously sick with virtually no medical attention and his health is deteriorating by the day.  
 His suffering began on 17th June, 2016 at about 1 am, Some heavily armed men numbering about ten decked in black uniform with  hood drawn over their faces broke into his house where he lived with his wife

and three very young children aged between 2 and 5. They dragged him from his bed, got him handcuffed in the presence of the wife and the young children.

For a grueling 45 minutes, they ransacked his house apparently in search of incriminating evidence, and when they could not find any, the men who introduced themselves as operatives of the Department of State Security (DSS) literarily dragged Selky Torughedi from the house and bundled him into a waiting vehicle that took him away.

From his Calabar residence, he was transferred to Abuja where the DSS told the nation that it has succeeded in arresting one of the arrowheads of the Niger Delta Avengers, a militant group which had committed heinous crimes including kidnapping, terrorism, pipeline vandalism, arms importation and economic sabotage.. They also said the man is a close associate of the wanted former militant commander, Government Ekpemupolo a.k.a Tompolo and that it has an intelligent report that Selki Torughedi was planning to kill one MB Yahaya, a serving Army officer on special duty in the troubled region.

But a couple of days after his arrest and detention, the Niger Delta Avengers in an online broadcast that went virile, denied tersely that the man in the custody of the DSS, Selky Torughedi was their member. Rather they branded him a mole who the Security agency was trying to use as a decoy to trap them.  
Then the question was: Is Selky actually a member of the Niger Delta Avengers, or is he a red herring the government is spinning to entrap

the kingpins of the organization? Why would a group deny its member who is caught in the line of an avowed operation? These were some of the puzzles discerning minds who took initial interest in the DSS\Torughedi matter were confronted with. (Unfolding events has overtime shown who the aggressor is)
He was locked up for over one month with no access to his family member or legal counsel.

Apparently piqued by the seeming breech of the rights of Selky to legal representation under the stipulated time frame allowed for detention without trial, counsel to the accused, Emeka Uchegbulam Esq. filed a suit on 4th July 2016 at the Federal High court in Abuja against the Director General, DSS for the enforcement of Selky’s fundamental human rights pursuant to section 46 sub section 3 of the 1999 constitution of the federal Republic of Nigeria as amended.

Emeka Uchegbulam prayed that a declaration be made to the effect that the arrest and detention of Selki since June 17th without trial or access to legal representation is illegal, unlawful and oppressive and a violation of the fundamental rights of his client.
Uchegbulam also wanted the court to give an order compelling the Department of state security to immediately release Selky if they could not charge him to court for want of evidence that could stimulate prosecution.

After an encumbering session of technical security rigmarole, the DSS filed a petition at the same court enunciating its grounds of opposition to the release of Selky  Torughedi.

  Delivering judgment on August 3rd, 2016 in the application filed by Emeka Uchegbulam, seeking for the enforcement of his client’s fundamental human rights under sections 34, 35, 36 and 41 of the 199 constitution as amended, and the petition by the DSS to the contrary, Honorable Justice Nnamdi Dimgba said  the state security service erred in law to have detained Selky Torughedi for such a length of time without any  evidence of fault.

The Judge affirmed that the explanations given by the DSS that the accuse was a threat to the society were  wide  and very speculative, noting that  the justification offered for the continuous  incarceration of the suspect were bereft of any shred of evidence to back them up. He said the court could only act on the basis of credible evidence.

The DSS had deposed to an affidavit before the court that the suspect is a high ranking member and sponsor of the Niger Delta Avengers and that he was arrested for his involvement in acts of militancy, terrorism, kidnapping, blowing up pipelines and plans to assassinate some top government officials in the country. Against the backdrop of these allegations, they said it would be prejudicial to free the suspect as it would constitute a threat to national security.

But Justice Dimgba overruled these allegations. 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 as  alleged.

He said it could have equally been in the form of statements offered by other arrested members pointing out the suspect as their member.  Better still, he said the DSS could have come up with an exhibit no matter how small, be it a confessional statement made by the applicant for the court to evaluate. And neither did they explain in what form the applicant’s sponsorship of the militant group had taken whether it was financial, material or just moral sponsorship.

The Judge also made the DSS to realize the futility of its position on the continuous detention of Selky Torughedi when he said a suspect who is accused of planning to blow up pipelines and commit other crimes couldn’t have been arrested at midnight in the bosom of his wife; one should expect that he would be in the creeks with his comrades at arms.

Justice Nnamdi Dimgba lamented that the DSS has not provided him with an iota of evidence  to enable him rule for  the continuous incarceration of Selky Torughedi without charging him to court within the period prescribed by sections 35(4) and (5) of the constitution.
In the absence of such concrete material, Justice Dimgba ordered that selky Torughedi  be released immediately , while stating emphatically  that any incarceration that is not backed by order of a competent court

is illegal, unconstitutional and must be shot down by the court, being the guardian of those sacred rights secured by the constitution”
 Sir, it will interest you to know that four months after the judgment was given and the ruling served on the DSS, they have refused to obey the court order they have refused to appeal the judgment, they didn’t charge him to court for any criminal offence, Selky Torughedi is still bound in fetters in the cold dungeon of the DSS with his health deteriorating every passing day.

When we approached the court again to seek for an order compelling the DSS to obey the execution of its order, the judge told us that he has withdrawn from hearing the matter and that he has returned the case to the chief judge for re-assignment. We were surprised at the sudden turn of events.

However, on investigation, we gathered that the DSS blackmailed the judge out of the case as a result of a petition to the National Judicial Commission ( NJC } that the judge had taken bribe from the family of Selky Torughedi to rule against them.

Recall sir, that the judge, Nnamdi Digba was the only judge whose residence was invaded by the DSS during the recent onslaught on some Nigerian judges by the rampaging and uncontrollable secret police without a warrant of search and the only thing they took from his house was his bag containing rulings he was meant to deliver.

Curiously, no charge was preferred against him and he has since resumed sitting while other judges who were raided on that fateful day by the DSS have been made to step aside.

Who do you cry to in a situation like this in a country supposedly governed by the rule of law? Which superior organ of government do you report such naked abuse of human rights?

Undeterred by the frustrating act of impunity of the DSS , we decided to seek the intervention of  the National Human Rights Commission to save Selky Torughedi from the persecution of the  DSS.

In a letter dated 4th October, 2016 from the chambers of Emeka Uchegbulam and co, we explained the ordeal of Selky Torughedi, detailing the genesis and tortuous process we have gone through to make DSS to charge our client to court if indeed there are evidence of the allegations they made against him or obey the court order issued by the constitutional body charged with the responsibility of arbitration in such a matter. See attached document.

Again, over two months after the save our soul letter was written to the National Human Rights Commission, all we got was an acknowledgement letter and no other action while Selky continues to waste away in the DSS prison.

Our latest investigation revealed that the DSS is convinced that it has no evidence against Selky, but it is holding on to him with a view to making him to  implicate some highly placed people in the Niger Delta
who they believe are the unseen hands behind the Niger Delta Avengers.

But Selky has continued to maintain that he cannot cooperate with DSS to implicate innocent people stressing  that it is a sin against man and God to so do.  Therefore, because of his refusal to do the sinister will of the DSS, they are determined to continue to detain him even at the risk to his life, they care less.

As at the last visit to Selky in the DSS prison, he was a pitiable sight to behold. He has emaciated badly and he was virtually a walking corpse.

Sir, we are of the belief that the DSS is determined to kill Selky Torughedi, we are convinced beyond all reasonable doubts. Our conviction is anchored on the fact that he is chained twenty four hours and seven days in a week even inside cell. He is underfed without proper medical attention and he is interrogated almost every day with a threat to hold him down until he implicates somebody.
Sir, we are writing this letter to you to please in the name of God help us to use your good offices to intervene in this blatant human rights abuse by the Nigerian secret police before the obituary of our client. Selky Torughedi.

Accept the assurances of our esteemed regards.

Yours sincerely
Emeka Uchegbulam


           Born in April, 1980. Selki had his primary and secondary education in Ikot-Ansa, Cross Rivers state and Azuzuama, southern Ijaw  in Bayelsa state respectively, before proceeding to the Kogi state polytechnic to obtain the Higher National Diploma in Public Administration .

An ardent student of the works and principles of the beacon of the Niger Delta struggle, the late Isaac Adaka Boro, Selky actually caught his teeth in human rights activitism in his secondary school days as a foot soldier of the great environmentalist/activist, late Ken Saro Wiwa.

As an acknowledgement of his commitment to the cause of the Niger Delta struggle, the Young Shall Grow as he is fondly called was made the head of the southern wing of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta in 2002 when he was barely 22 years old.

This role he performed creditably amidst a legion of comrades who were far older and more experienced than him.

In recognition of his ombudsmanship in his community, the late president, Umar Musa Yar’Adua accorded him special recognition when the Amnesty program was being instituted and going by his exploits and general contributions to the well being of the Niger Delta, the Global Peace Initiative of Nigeria honored Selki with the post Amnesty Peace Ambassador Award.

A philanthropist per excellence, Selki Torughedi is a benefactor to many young minds in his community and its environ who are poor and in need in the areas of education, community projects, youth empowerment, and scholarship.

A passionate believer in education as the most potent tool for the development of mankind from all forms of oppression, Selki has a scholarship scheme that caters for over 40 indigenes of the Niger Delta, a totally free nursery and primary school with a population of over 100 pupils, in addition to an empowerment scheme for the women who are paid on a daily basis to sweep and keep the community clean.

A few months before his arrest and incarceration, Selki Torughedi was a senior special adviser on Marine water way security to the present governor of Bayelsa state, Seriake Dickson.

Selky Torughedi aka Young Shall Grow is married to Ala-Ere and they have four children.    


Chris Kehinde Nwandu is the Editor In Chief of CKNNEWS || He is a Law graduate and an Alumnus of Lagos State University, Lead City University Ibadan and Nigerian Institute Of Journalism || With over 2 decades practice in Journalism, PR and Advertising, he is a member of several Professional bodies within and outside Nigeria || Member: Institute Of Chartered Arbitrators ( UK ) || Member : Institute of Chartered Mediators And Conciliation || Member : Nigerian Institute Of Public Relations || Member : Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria || Fellow : Institute of Personality Development And Customer Relationship Management || Member and Chairman Board Of Trustees: Guild Of Professional Bloggers of Nigeria

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