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An Ebonyi State federal high court in Abakaliki has declared the activities of the south-east security outfit, Ebube Agu, illegal in the state.
Recall that the south-east states governors had in April 2021, announced the establishment of the security network as part of measures to curb insecurity in the region.
The court while ruling on Tuesday, ordered the Department of State Services, DSS, and police to retrieve all the weapons in the possession of Ebube Agu operatives in the state.
The presiding judge, Riman Fatun, said the grounds for disbandment were connected to human right abuses, extortion, and illegal arrests.
The judge held, “I hereby declare the Ebube Agu outfit illegal and therefore, it ceases to exist as the Ebonyi state house of assembly has no powers to approve their existence.”
The court, in a suit filed by Abia Onyike, also ordered the Ebonyi government to pay the plaintiff the sum of N50 million as damages over his “abduction and torture” by the Ebube Agu security outfit in Abakaliki in November 2022.
Onyike, director of media and publicity of the Ebonyi PDP campaign council, was arrested by Ebube Agu operatives in November 2022.
Michael Odo, counsel to Onyike, while speaking with journalists on the court’s ruling, said he approached the court to seek a determination on “whether the Ebonyi state house of assembly has the constitutional powers to enact such security agency”.
He added, “I also approached the court to seek whether the arrest of the plaintiff on 9/11/2022 and detention and torture by operatives of the Ebube Agu security agency and/or Ebonyi state Ebube Agu Corps at the Old Government House, Abakaliki, Ebonyi state, are lawful.
“I am happy over the judgment and today, justice has been done to my client.”