A couple identified as Pius and Eucharia Anowai, along with the Inspector-General of Police and eight others has been brought before a Federal High Court in Lagos by four siblings for putting them under arrest.
The children Chioma, 24; Stephen, 22; Rita, 20; and Joseph, 18, are demanding the sum of N200m as damages from the defendants and also seeking the order of the court declaring that their arrest, detention, intimidation, torture, humiliation, harassment.
They are also seeking the order of the court to declare that the seizure of their telephones since 2017 till date by ACP Bose Akinyemi and John Akogun was a violation of their rights as guaranteed by Section 37 of the constitution and a declaration that they are entitled to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, including freedom to change their religion or belief from Roman Catholicism to the Holy Ghost School Fellowship.
The 24-year-old graduate noted that while growing up, their mother was a member of the Holy Ghost School Fellowship, Oke-Afa, Isolo, Lagos, which she introduced them to and made them members of the church in 2013, adding that when their mother stopped being a member of the church, they found spiritual fulfilment in the church as their parents were at war with each other.
Chioma said, “When I got to the police station, I realised that my father was the petitioner and we were made to answer allegations of being abducted and kidnapped by the Holy Ghost Fellowship.
“We were handcuffed, humiliated, our photographs were taken and we were dragged to a corner to make statements denouncing our membership of the fellowship and not to step into the fellowship again or move away from our parents’ home from morning till night.
“In order to enforce compliance with the undertaking, our cell phones, which included Samsung S5 valued N105,000; Tecno WX3 valued N35,000; and Tecno Y2 valued N15,000; and Samsung S4 valued at N80,000, belonging to a member of the fellowship, were confiscated till date.
“My academic certificates, which include the Madonna University’s Pharmacy degree certificate, provisional licence to practise and other certificates are in my parents’ custody; I’m unable to apply to perform an internship with any pharmaceutical company as well as the mandatory one-year National Youth Service Corps.”
According to Chioma, the respondents in the suit have brought untold hardship on her and her siblings, as they are now living like destitute, which has exposed them to the change of life, as their comfort has been distorted and they have become unemployable to the business environment.
Though the defendants have not filed any counter motion to the suit, the matter has been fixed for February 14, 2019, for hearing.