Nephew sues Sen. Titus Zam over ‘illegal detention’

The senator representing (APC- Benue North-West), Titus Zam, has been sued by his nephew, Mr. Oliver Tersoo Abele, for allegedly orchestrating his “illegal detention” by the police.

Abele has reportedly been detained by the police in Abuja since 18 June, following a complaint by Senator Zam.

In a suit filed by his lawyers at the Federal High Court in Abuja, Mr Abele, who is also the senator’s nephew, is demanding to be paid N100 million for the alleged violation of his fundamental rights.

In the originating motion filed by his lawyers, Matthias Ikyav and Hellen Gbor of MAL Ikyav & Co, Mr Abele sued the Commissioner of Police for the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and the Divisional Police Officer for Galadima police post, Gwarinpa, as the first and second respondents. He joined the senator as the third respondent.

Mr Abele is also seeking public apologies from the three respondents and N1.5 million as the cost of the suit.

A relation of the applicant, James Akatu, deposed to an affidavit supporting the suit.

In the affidavit, Mr Akatu said Mr Abele had worked for the senator for about six years, “even before he became a member of the National Assembly.”

He said sometime in 2023, Mr Abele introduced someone to Zam, who sold a used Range Rover SUV to the senator for N4 million.

Mr Abele said he was able to do that because he was a motor mechanic, too.

After a few months, however, he said the car’s engine became bad and had to be changed.

Therefore, the senator bought a new engine for the car but it also became faulty shortly afterwards.

“The unfortunate situation compelled the 3rd respondent to abandon the car in his house at Makurdi, Benue state,” Mr Akatu deposed in the affidavit. He said Mr Abele later left the senator’s service.

“Sometime in February 2024, (months after he stopped working for the 3rd Respondent), he contacted him as his uncle, asking for support to enable him invest in business.

“Based on this, the 3rd respondent gave him the said Range Rover together with the car papers with the instruction that he should repair and sell same.

“He used his resources to repair the car and subsequently sold same at the rate of N2.8 million plus another car, which the buyer traded for the Range Rover.

“Unfortunately, he used the proceeds of the sale to invest in farm business without the consent and approval of the 3rd Respondent.

“Peeved by the above development, the 3rd Respondent lodged a criminal complaint against him at the Galadima post of the Nigeria Police at Gwarinpa, Abuja whereupon he was arrested on Tuesday, 18 June, 2024 and has since been in detention.

“All efforts to get him on bail have proved abortive,” Mr Akatu deposed in the affidavit.

The court has not fixed a date for the hearing of the suit.

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