A Federal High Court in Abuja, on Thursday, issued a fresh order on the Director-General of the Department of the Security Service (DSS) to produce before it 12 detained aides of the alleged Yoruba secessionist leader, Sunday Igboho.
The fresh order followed the refusal of the security agency to make them available for bail consideration as ordered by the court on July 23, 2021.
Justice Obiora Egwuatu issued the fresh order following an appeal by DSS counsel, Idowu Awo, that the agency is given another time to comply with the order.
When the matter came up, DSS counsel informed the court that the detained applicants could not be produced in court because of the nature of their arrest and detention.
He argued that he had filed a counter-affidavit to explain the dimensions and sophistication of the investigation being carried out on the detainees.
Awo further submitted that the DSS obtained an order of the court permitting the detention of the applicants for 14 days to interrogate them.
Besides, the counsel submitted that some names on the federal high court order were at variance with the list of those being detained adding that only four out the 12 names corresponded with that of DSS.
However, Justice Egwuatu was not persuaded by the arguments adding that the order of his court was in English language and unambiguous that the detainees be produced in court.
The Judge held that the order ought to be obeyed to the letter after which the DSS can subsequently offer explanations for their detention.
He said that the liberty of the Nigerian citizens is at stake and that it is the duty of the court to protect it for citizens when called upon to do so as in the instant case.
DSS counsel later apologized to the court and sought an adjournment to enable them to comply with the court order, a request the Judge granted and fixed Monday, August 2, 2021, for DSS to produce the detainees in court
The Judge also ordered DSS to allow counsel to the detainees, Pelumi Olajemgbesi to have access to the detainees before the adjourned date.
Olajengbesi had earlier pleaded with the court to sanction DSS for an act of disrespect to a lawful court order for the production of the detainees.
He faulted the order paper clamped by DSS for the 14 days detention of the applicants adding that the order was not certified as required by law for public documents.
The counsel argued that it was wrong for the DSS to have detained the applicants for 25 days without charging them to a court or grant them administrative bail despite the fact that the Supreme law presumes them innocent.
Olajengbesi told the court that one, Sunday Adeyemo was the target of the DSS during the raid carried out on July 2 adding that the arrest of the applicants on the day was just an unfortunate event.
Applicants in the matter are Abdulateef Ofeyagbe, Amoda Babatunde, Tajudeen Erinoyen, Diakola Ademola, Abideen Shittu, Jamiu Noah, and Ayobami Donald.
Others are Adelabe Usman, Oluwapelimi Kunle, Raji Kazeem, Taiwo Opeyemi and Bamidele Sunday, while the two respondents in the matter are DG, DSS and the DSS.
Credit: Nigerian Tribune