Court to Rule on DSS’ Request for Continued Detention of Four of Igboho’s Associates
Justice Obiara Egwuatu has stood down ruling in an oral application by the Department of State Service (DSS), to continue to keep in detention four associates of Yoruba nation agitator, Sunday Igboho.
The DSS in compliant with the order of the Court on Wednesday brought the 12 associates of Sunday Igboho in their custody.
At Monday’s proceedings only eight of them were brought to court due to discrepancies in the names of the applicants on the list of the applicants’ lawyer and that of the service.
The court while on the last sitting granted request of applicants lawyer Mr Pelumi Olajeingbesi, to correct the names and make necessary amendments on the suit, adjourned to August 4, for hearing of the applicants motion on notice.
When the matter was called on Wednesday, applicants lawyer argued that since the DSS had brought the applicants to court it was no longer necessary to keep them and as such the court should admit them to bail unconditionally.
However, DSS’s lawyer, Mr Idowu Awo, told the court that while the service was not opposed to the bail of eight of the applicants, it was opposed to four of the applicants owing to the severity of the proposed charge against them.
The four applicants whom the service wants to keep for further investigation are; Amudat Babatunde (AKA Lady K), Okoyemi Tajudeen, Abideen Shittu and Jamiu Oyetunji.
The service claimed that “investigation so far revealed high level of complicity on their parts”.
According to Awo, it will not be in the interest of Justice and National Interest to release them on bail, adding that the applicants may jump bail and not make themselves available for further investigation or possible prosecution.
The alleged offenses of the applicants include; arms stock pilling and other crimes. The DSS claimed that when it raided the house of Igboho in conjunction with the army on July 1, 7 AK 47 riffles, 3 pump action guns, 221 live ammunition, I jackknife, 19 walkie talkies were recovered.
Awo added Igboho had ran out of the country after he was declared wanted and was currently standing trial in Benin Republic.
Responding, olajengbesi, argued that it took the intervention of the Court for him to meet with the applicants, adding that the experience of the applicants in DSS custody was bad.
He argued further that after 34 days in custody, it would amount to an affront on the nation’s Constitution and an infringement of fundamental rights of the applicants for the DSS to continue to keep them in custody.
While he argued that investigation cannot be indefinite, he stressed the nature of the alleged charge was not before the court, adding that the DSS does not need 34 days to investigate a case of alleged firearms.
“We pray the court to admit all of them to bail unconditionally”, olajengbesi submitted.
Justice Egwuatu having listened to arguments of parties in the matter said that the matter was stood down for ruling.
The applicants were arrested during a midnight raid on Igboho’s residence in Oyo State and subsequently brought to Abuja but since their arrest on July 1, the DSS had yet to file charges against them or admit them to bail pending conclusion of investigations and possibly arraignment.
The applicants through their lawyers therefore approached the court to enforce their fundamental human rights.
They had argued that they were being held illegally, without any valid court order hence, the court should order the DSS to release them unconditionally.