By Rebbecca Mu’azu-Yola
The international federation of females lawyers ( FIDA ) in Adamawa state is calling on organisations and well meaning individuals to support Adama Mustapha, who was wrongfully detained in prison for about two and half years for her husband’s alleged membership of Boko Haram.
Her Lawyer, a member of the association, Mrs. Fatima Bello Raji, who followed her case in court and secured her release, said even though Adama was out of prison, she is still having challenges taking care of her family needs.
Mrs. Raji said since the onset of the insurgency, the association had supported a lot of Internally Displayed Persons, IDPs, to have access to justice, through the support of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
She said Adama is now into petty trading, selling groundnuts and groundnuts oil, but needs more assistance to earn a living for her family.
Mrs. Raji said the mandate of the association to provide free legal services to indigent women and children in the state had enabled them get support for ted 35 IDP women get access to justice, through the support of UNHCR, between 2016 to 2019.
She also said Adama’s case was one of FIDA and UNHCR’s landmark cases, which was a success story.
Mrs. Raji said Adama was released through the support of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
Adama Mustapha One of the freed Adamawa State prisoners of Boko Haram implication, Mrs. Is making a passionate appeal to all Nigerians and organisations to assist her get back on her feet and take care of her children and family.
Mrs. Mustapha’s case is described as one of the landmark cases of the International Federation of Female Lawyers, FIDA, through the assistance of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, UNHCR, in the State, which had produced a success story.
“UNHCR has been supporting her with non-food items for herself and her family and they are the ones that are supporting the matter that we have in court. They are the ones that have taken up the payment of the fees for the enforcement of that judgment. So far, we are appealing to other organisations to support her,” Mrs. Raji said.
Adama Mustapha’s ordeal began sometime during Ramadan in 2014 or so, when she was arrested due to her husband’s alleged involvement in Boko Haram activities.
She was arrested at an Army Check in Gombi, Gombi Local Government Area of Adamawa State, where she was detained for some time and later taken to Yola and subsequently Abuja for about eleven and a half months before being taken to Yola Prisons
The now 32 year old Adama was already 8 months’ pregnant when she was arrested and taken to Yola, where she gave birth at a hospital.
Upon her return to the detention facility, at the army barracks, she did not get to see her two children, because the Army informed her the children had been taken to an orphanage.
Adama said hope begun to shine on her in detention in Abuja, when the Red Cross visited the facility and knew about her plight and asked that she be brought back to Yola and set freed.
She was brought back to Yola, but taken straight to prison, where She remain till the International Federation of Female Lawyers met her and took up her case.
That is why she said she remained grateful to FIDA, the UNHCR and even the Nigerian Army in Abuja, who treated her well during her detention in Abuja.
She said the intervention of FIDA, through the support of UNHCR led to her freedom and was now back home in Gombe, to discover life was not the same, because her father who was ill had died while she was still in detention.
Adama said with no husband, no mother or father to assist her, only an elder brother, whose financial strength was not strong enough, she had a lot of challenges taking care of her four children.
“I came back only to meet that my father, who had been ill Before, I had died. By then, my mother had died long before then. I now have only my brother and younger ones, who I left behind and even at that, he doesn’t have much financial strength, because he also has his family to take care of. I also have four children that I struggle to take care of. However, the N10, thousand support from UNHCR, has helped me to buy groundnuts and process it for oil and sell it. Now, my oldestdaughter recently came and asked me for the entrance examination fee for secondary school. I struggled and got something and gave her, because she is very brilliant. Truly, if she can get any support, she will go places academically.
Sometime back, I went to my Lawyer and explained to her my plight, because even the house is our father’s house, which he left as inheritance to all his children. Also, he was ill for a long time and consequently incurred a lot of debts, of which up tonow we have not refunded. Now they creditors have been coming to demand for their money. We don’t know what to do and we can’t sell this house because we have nowhere to go,” she said.
Adama’s Lawyer, Mrs. Fatima Raji, said at the time the court granted her freedom they had also awarded her 400 thousand naira in compensation, but it was yet to be given to her.
“We were able to apply for the enforcement of her fundamental human rights at the Federal High Court and she was released, united with her family and then the court also awarded the cost of 400 thousand naira for compensation. One of the challenges we have now, presently we are working towards it. When the court awarded the compensation, we have tried many times, writing to the Nigerian Army and the Prisons to pay the compensation, but they are yet to do so. So presently we have approached the court for the enforcement of that judgement and we are hopeful that the court will grant us the compensation,” said Mrs. Raji.
Adama is now into the business of selling groundnuts and groundnuts oil to keep body and soul together.
In the meantime, Mrs. Fatima Raji said the International Federation of Female Lawyers in Adamawa State was providing free legal services for indigent women and children in the state.
She said since the insurgency, it had supported a lot of IDPs, in the area of access to justice with the collaboration of the UNHCR.
Mrs. Raji said so far from 2016 to 2019 they had been able to support 35 IDP women access justice.