Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, (SAN), has raised alarm over the continuous detention of Capt. Dada Labinjo a former President of Nigerian Indigenous Ship owners Association (NISA) and 67 other Nigerians by the Nigeria Navy since September last year.
Speaking exclusively with our correspondent last week, the senior advocate said Dada Labinjo, a retired Navy Captain, Sherifat Ibe Lambert (also known as Mrs Bola Labinjo), and 67 others have been in detention since September 2018 for an undisclosed offence and without trial.
In a memo exclusively sent to our correspondent by the human rights lawyer, he explained that following the petition he wrote to President Muhammadu Buhari, the Nigerian Navy has been directed to either release the 67 citizens detained in its custody or arraign them in court.
Which he said the authorities of the Nigerian Navy have transferred the forwarded the case files of the detainees to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), but added that the Navy has however refused to hand over the case file of Capt. Dada Labinjo to the commission.
He said Labinjo has been detained incommunicado in an underground cell of the Navy in Abuja since September 12, 2018.
According to him “Following our petition to President Muhammadu Buhari, the Nigerian Navy has been directed to either release the 67 citizens detained in its custody or arraign them in court. Consequently the authorities of the Nigerian Navy have transferred the forwarded the case files of the detainees to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
“We have confirmed that officials of the EFCC visited the detainees in the detention facilities in Lagos last week. We have been assured by the management of the EFCC that the detainees are currently being profiled with a view to having them released or arraigned in court.
“Already, Mrs Bola Labinjo has been charged before a Federal High Court in Lagos alongside Jonathan Abuka, Ikemefuna Charles Agaba, Benjamin Gold and HamzatYakubu. The defendants and a vessel, MT Hadeline Jumbo, are facing a two-count charge of conspiracy and unlawful dealing on petroleum product.
“However, it is curious to note that the Nigerian Navy has refused to release the case file of Navy Captain Dada Labinjo to the EFCC. The said officer has been detained incommunicado in an underground cell at Abuja since September 12, 2019. We therefore call on the Chief of Naval Staff to comply with the orders of the federal high court for the immediate release of Navy Captain Dada Labinjo from unlawful custody”, he said.