Home / Lead Story / Court stops DSS, AGF from arresting, harassing, intimidating Sunday Igboho; 12 detained associates granted bail

Court stops DSS, AGF from arresting, harassing, intimidating Sunday Igboho; 12 detained associates granted bail

Sunday Adeyemo Igboho

By Suleiman Shehu, Ibadan/Taiye Agbaje, Abuja

An Oyo State High Court sitting in Ibadan has restrained the Department of State Services (DSS) and the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) from arresting and blocking the account of Chief Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho.

Justice Ladiran Akintola gave the order on Wednesday after listening to the motion exparte filed by Igboho’s counsel, Mr Yomi Alliyu, SAN.

This is as a Federal High Court, Abuja, also on Wednesday, admitted the 1detained associates of the Yoruba nation activist, Sunday Igboho, to bail.
 
Justice Obiora Egwuatu, who granted the eight applicants whose request were not opposed by the Department of State Services (DSS) bail in the sum of N5 million, admitted the four others to a bail in the sum of N10 million each with two sureties in the like sum.

Alliyu(SAN), in Ibadan, had moved the motion exparte, urging the court to grant his application.

Other respondents in the suit are the Director of State Services, Oyo State and the AGF.

None of the respondents was in court or was represented by counsel.

Delivering his ruling, Akintola said that he was satisfied with explanation provided by the applicant’s counsel, evidencing the urgent need to grant the application.

The judge ordered and restrained the respondents, their agents or any other security agents acting on their behalf from killing, arresting, detaining or harassing Igboho.

Akintola also restrained the respondents from interfering with the applicant’s fundamental rights to life, personal liberty, freedom of movement and enjoyment of his property without fear of invasion of his home.

The judge further ordered the respondents from blocking the account of the applicant in any bank or placing no debit on it and to lift same where they had so acted, pending the hearing and determination of the suit.

He, however, adjourned the case till Aug. 18, for hearing of the originating summon.

Alliyu had informed the court that the life of his client was being threatened after the invasion of his house on July 1 by DSS officials.

The counsel informed the court that his client’s property were damaged and one of the occupants killed by the security agents during the invasion.

He tendered exhibits and a written address to support his motion.

From Abuja, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the DSS did not oppose the bail request of the applicants, Abdullateef Ademola Onaolapo, Tajudeen Irinloye, Diekola Jubril Ademola, Ayobami Donald, Uthman Opeyemi Adelabu, Olakunle Oluwapelumi, Raji Kazeem and Taiwo Opeyemi Tajudeen, who are 1st, 3rd, 4th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th and 11th applicants respectively. 
 
The DSS, however, urged the court not to grant bail to Amudat Habibat Babatunde, Abideen Shittu, Jamiu Noah Oyetunji and Bamidele Sunday listed as 2nd, 5th, 6th and 12th applicants in the application. 
 
Earlier, Counsel to the applicants, Pelumi Olajengbesi, had urged the court to grant his clients bail unconditionally.
Olajengbesi made the plea following the production of the 12 detainees before Justice Obiora Egwuatu on Wednesday.
 
NAN reports that the applicants, who had been in the detention of the DSS since July 2, had approached the court through their lawyer to seek their fundamental rights enforcement.
 
Olajengbesi told the court that contrary to Section 35(4) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which stipulated that a suspect be charged to court within 24 hours, the DSS had kept the applicants for about 34 days in detention.
 
He said that it took the order of the court for the respondent (DSS) to allow even the legal representatives of these applicants to have access to them.
.
He said the experience of the applicants in the facility of the respondent was “a bad taste.”
He said the applicants were arrested for certain offences, after 34 days in the respondent’s detention, the applicants should have been charged to court.
He argued that to continue to keep the applicants in the custody of the service would amount to an affront on the constitution and infringement on their fundamental human rights as provided by the law.
 
However, Counsel to the DSS, I. Awo, though he opposed the application for bail for four of the applicants in custody, did not oppose the application for bail for eight others.
He argued that this was due to the level of their involvement in the offences preferred against them.
He hinted that investigation so far had revealed high level of complicity on the part of the four detainees whose bail were opposed to by the service.
“As it is, the respondent is still investigating this matter and while will we not oppose bail to those applicants earlier mentioned, we seriously believe that it is not in the interest of justice and it will not serve the purpose of national security for these four applicants to be granted bail,” Awo said.
The lawyer further argued that the fear of the service was that if granted bail, they might not make themselves available for further investigation and possible prosecution.
He said the law also gave grounds on which a suspect could be detained beyond 24 hours.
According to him, Section 162 of Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA), 2015, set out the conditions or circumstances upon which bail can be refused.
Awo said Paragraph C of the same section provided that where the applicant for bail attempted to intimidate witnesses or interfere with investigation, in such circumstances, bail could be refused.
He said there were credible information on how friends, families and associates of the four applicants were making contacts to the potential witnesses identified by the service.
“They have started making overtures to them to compromise investigation and pressurising some not to turn up in the event they (the four applicants) will be charged.
“We believe strongly that these four applicants who are still needed for further investigation will jeopardise the ongoing investigation if released,” Awo told the court.

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