DSS Risks Contempt For Detaining Cleric | Independent Newspapers Limited
Newsletter subscribe


DSS Risks Contempt For Detaining Cleric

Posted: Jul 9, 2015 at 7:19 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Laide Raheem  –  Abeokuta


A legal practitioner and the Director of Prisoners’ Rights Advocacy Initiative, Ahmed Adetola-Kazeem, has threatened to institute a contempt action against the Department of State Security Service, (DSS) and its Director General for failuring to release an Islamic cleric in its custody despite court order in his favour.

The cleric, Abdul-Ganiy Jimoh Ibrahim and his wife, Muinat Abdul-Ganiy Ibrahim were abducted in June 2014 at their Sango home and their whereabouts unknown until the heavily pregnant wife was later released from the Abeokuta office of the DSS because of her condition.

The cleric, had through his counsel, Adetola-Kazeem filed a suit marked FHC/AB/CS/84/2014 challenging his continuous detention.

Counsel to the DSS, Aisha Gyang has argued before the court that the applicant was being detained for terrorism related matters.

But Justice Folake Ogunbanjo of an Abeokuta Federal High Court, in a judgment delivered three weeks ago, held that the continuous detention of the cleric without proper arraignment and trial in a court of competent jurisdiction was unlawful, unconstitutional and violation of fundamental rights to dignity of person, personal liberty and freedom of movement.

Justice Ogunbanjo further ruled that the continuous detention of the applicant without informing him of the details of the nature of his offence and access to his lawyer and family members was in fragrant violation of constitutional provisions.

Quoting Section 35 (4) of the constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), the presiding judge ordered the immediate release of the applicant and awarded N1 million as general damages against the defendant.

Adetola-Kazeem while speaking with our correspondent said the agency was yet to obey the orders of the court despite making a copy of the judgment available to it.

According to a letter dated 25th June, 2015 and addressed to the Director-General of DSS, a copy of which was made available to Daily Independent Metro, the lawyer had forwarded a Certified True Copy of the ruling to the agency.

It was also indicated on the copy of the letter that someone simply identified as Rose received the document of behalf of the agency with inscription ‘Original Copy collected by Rose, 29/06/15. 12:00hrs).’

In the said letter, urged the agency to obey the order of the court warning that such will ensure that ‘the image of the organisation is not further battered if the lawful orders of the court were disobeyed.’