Legal Nigeria

Chieftaincy tussle: Court orders release of Bayelsa monarch, others

by Simon Utebor

The Bayelsa State High Court sitting in Yenagoa, the state capital, has ordered the release of the Paramount Ruler of Azuzuama Community in Southern Ijaw area, Chief Selky Torughedi, aka Young Shall Grow, five days after his detention.

The police had claimed that the monarch, a former ex-militant leader, was arrested and detained over chieftaincy tussle and conduct likely to cause breach of the peace and order in the community.

The High Court, in a suit No. YHC/127M/2021, filed by Augustine Aluzu Esq. on behalf of the monarch, Torughedi, Chief Matthew Agoke and Pastor Jonah Iniwari (first, second and third applicants), argued the continued detention of Torughedi was a clear violation of their fundamental human rights.

According to the applicants, the listed respondents: the Commissioner of Police, Bayelsa State Attorney General and J. B. Lockie (sued as presiding magistrate of Magistrates’ Court 1), the remand order by the third respondent on August 23, 2021 remanding the applicants for thirty (30) days is a violation of their fundamental human rights.

The counsel sought an order releasing the applicants forthwith from detention pending the determination of the substantive suit and an order that the applicants be released on bail on self-recognition.

In his ruling, the Presiding Judge, Justice Timipere Songi, ordered that the applicants be released forthwith from detention pending the determination of the substantive suit.

Justice Songi also ordered that the applicants be released on bail on self-recognition

The arrest of the monarch last Saturday provoked indigenes of Azuzuama community, the Ijaw Youths Council (IYC) and the Movement for the Survival of the Izon Ethnic Nationality in the Niger Delta (MOSIEND), to troop to the state Police Command in protest.

The protesting indigenes and groups described the arrest and detention of the traditional ruler as politically motivated and an attempt to instigate violence in the area.

It was gathered that Torughedi was selected by the Kingmakers of the community due to his philanthropic nature in the area and involvement in mass empowerment scheme, employment of nurses in community’s clinic and mass feeding scheme.

He was reported to be the most popular candidate elected to occupy the throne.

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