UPDATED: Court orders DSS to produce detained Igboho’s associates

By Eric Ikhilae, Abuja

A Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered the Department of State Services (DSS) to produce before on or next Thursday 12 associates of the Yoruba Nation agitator, Sunday Adeyemo aka Sunday Igboho arrested during a raid in his house on July 2.

Justice Obiora Egwuatu gave the order on Friday while ruling on an ex-parte application argued by the lawyer to the 12 detainees – Pelumi Olajengbesi.

Olajengbesi had told the court the 12 associates of Igboho were arrested during DSS’ raid on his house in Ibadan on July 2 and have been kept incommunicado since then.

The detainees are: Abdullateef Ofeyagbe, Amuda Babatunde (alias Lady K), Tajudeen Erinoyen Diekola Ademola, Abideen Shittu, Jamiu Noah, Ayobami Donald, Adelabe Usman, Oluwapelumi Kunle, Raji Kazeem, Taiwo Opeyemi and Bamidele Sunday.

Justice Egwuatu, in his ruling, ordered the DSS to produce them in court on the next date to enable the court inquire into the circumstances constituting grounds of their arrest and detention since July 2, 2021

The judge also ordered the DSS to show cause why the 12 detainees should not be released on conditional or unconditional bail.

He ordered in view of the urgency involved in the case, further hearing in the fundamental rights enforcement suit,marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/647/2, filed by the detainees, shall be heard during the court’s vacation.

He then adjourned till July 29 for further hearing in the suit, which has the DSS and its Director General as respondents.

Olajengbesi, in court documents, said the reliefs sought by his clients were informed by the fact that they “are law abiding citizens Nigeria, who enjoy the protection of th Constitution as well as other applicable laws, particularly the provision of sections 35(4) and 36(5) of the Constitution and Section 32 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (2015).

“The applicants were arrested in the early hours of Thursday, the 2nd of July, 2021 by officers and agents of the respondents at the residence of Chief Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho, at Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria, and are being detained at the Respondents facility in Abuja.

“The state of affairs relating to the arrest of the applicants was later confirmed and published by the respondents, who claimed responsibility for their arrest and detention in Abuja.

“Upon the applicants’ arrest, the applicants were subsequently transferred to Federal Capital Territory, Abuja under the watch and guide of the respondents, who have since held the applicants in detention till date.

“Following the applicant’s arrest, concrete and concise efforts have been made by their lawyers to get access to the applicants in order to provide them with necessary legal representation as stipulated under the law, but same has been glaringly frustrated by the respondents who have as well denied the applicants access to their lawyers and other family members.

“Despite the clear provisions of law, which place responsibility on law enforcement agency to charge a suspect within 24hrs of arrest, the respondents in flagrant disregard to the provisions of the law have continued to keep the applicants under detention without any charge against them before a court of competent jurisdiction.

“The applicants are aware that they enjoy the constitutional protection of presumption of innocence as well as fair trial within a reasonable time under the applicable laws in Nigeria.”

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