It began with a petition written against one Filis Arinze – which seems like a threat.
The Special Task Force (STF), Jos, Plateau, have detained a businessman, Suleiman Mohammad Dikwa, alongside his lawyer, Felix Pukuma, after it was said that they had written a petition against Miss Filis Arinze.
The arrest took place on December 21, 2018, and according to reports, Mr. Dikwa and his lawyer were assaulted, but the latter was released and later invited by the military to ask his client to discontinue the petition against Miss Arinze; a condition for his release.
In a document, Mr Pukuma said, “I, Felix Musa Pukuma, ESQ, hereby testify that on this day 21/12/2018 at 11:30 am, I was arrested alongside my client, Mr. Suleiman Mohammed Dikwa, in Jos by the JTF military personnel. We were beaten, humiliated, dehumanised, handcuffed and bundled into their Hilux van and taken to STF Headquarters, Jos, for an offence that, according to my client’s instructions, I had already filed a petition against one Miss Filis at the Police Area Command, Jos. Dikwa is still in military detention for failing to agree to withdraw this petition against the lady whom he accused of being a serial blackmailer.”
Pukuma added, “We were duly informed that the lady in question has the backing of a military general, who has ordered the continued detention of Dikwa until he backs down.”
This development has prompted Dikwa and his lawyer to write a petition to the Chief of Army Staff and afterwards go to court, where the military will be sued “for this unimaginable impunity and lawlessness” that has bedeviled the duo of Dikwa and his lawyer.
One of Dikwa’s family members had this to say:
I have never seen a situation where someone writes a petition to the Police seeking redress over a matter and the military abducts the petitioner and hold him against his will to withdraw the petition in question. Sadly, even the Police seem helpless.
The family member continued:
This is happening at a time the Nigerian military is facing accusations of human rights abuses by Amnesty International and other NGOs in Nigeria. They are holding our relative at gunpoint, as if he is a criminal for writing a petition against a fellow citizen to the Police. We are not saying he innocent or the lady is guilty.
Why would a lady report a lawyer and client to the military for writing a petition to the Police. Why won’t she go to the same Police to clear her name? What is she afraid of?
Dikwa remains in custody and has not being charged as at the time of filing this report. All efforts to secure his release have been unsuccessful, according to his friends, family and neighbours in Jos.
We fear for his life, because we have heard reports of people allegedly being arrested and detained by the military and are never seen again, the family member added.