Legal Nigeria

DSS releases eight Igboho supporters — after 60 days in custody

DSS releases eight Igboho supporters — after 60 days in custody

 by Jesupemi Are 

The Department of State Services(DSS), on Monday, released eight supporters of Sunday Adeyemo, a youth leader popularly known as Sunday Igboho, from custody.

The supporters of the youth leader have been in the custody of the DSS for more than eight weeks.

The freed persons appeared at a media briefing on Monday afternoon with Pelumi Olajengbesi, their lawyer.

The DSS is, however, yet to release four of the detainees.

Speaking at the media briefing, Olajengbesi insisted that four of his clients still in custody must be freed, because they had been granted bail by the court.

He added that the DSS must account for two associates of Igboho said to have been killed during the raid on July 1.

DSS operatives had, on July 1, raided Igboho’s residence in Oyo and arrested 12 of his supporters.

The arrested supporters were moved to the federal capital territory (FCT), where they have been in detention.

Obiora Egwatu, judge of a federal high court in Abuja, had granted bail to the supporters.

But the DSS filed an appeal challenging the bail granted to the released persons.

In a related development, the Oyo state high court in Ibadan has given the attorney-general of the federation (AGF) till September 7 to respond to a suit filed against him by Igboho.

The DSS, which is a joint respondent in the suit, has the same date to appear before the court.

Igboho and his wife were arrested at Cadjèhoun Airport in Cotonou on their way to Germany.

Ropo, Igboho’s wife, was released after the pair were arraigned before a court in Cotonou, but Igboho remains in custody after extradition hearing on the request of the Nigerian government was stalled.

Igboho had through Yomi Alliyu, his lawyer, sued the AGF and the DSS, claiming damages worth N5.5 billion over alleged violation of his fundamental human rights.

The court, on August 4, granted an ex-parte application restraining the DSS and AGF from arresting or intimidating Igboho, and blocking his bank accounts.

At the resumed hearing of the case on Monday, Simon Enock, counsel to the AGF, told the court that he was not ready to proceed on the matter.

Enock said the applicant just served him with a counter-affidavit to the preliminary objection challenging the court’s jurisdiction and motion on notice filed on the matter by the AGF.

He said court rules permitted him to respond within seven days, and asked the court to grant him an adjournment in the interest of justice.

He also prayed the court to vacate the order restraining the DSS from arresting the youth leader and blocking his bank accounts, adding that the order should have a lifespan of seven days rather than being perpetual.

In his argument, T. Nurudeen, counsel to the DSS, said the applicant was yet to serve any counter-affidavit on his client and that the procedures of service must be observed for fair hearing.

Responding, Igboho’s counsel objected to the adjournment request and said the AGF was served since August 25 and only needed five days to respond to the counter-affidavit.

In his ruling, Ladiran Akintola, the presiding judge, said the rules on enforcement of fundamental human rights suit do not accommodate luxury of time because the life of the applicant was at stake.

Akintola adjourned the case till September 7 for hearing of all applications, and extended his order of interim injunction restraining the DSS from arresting Igboho or blocking his account.

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