Jonathan’s CSO ‘Denied Food, Water, Medication’ In SSS Custody, Says Lawyer | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Jonathan’s CSO ‘Denied Food, Water, Medication’ In SSS Custody, Says Lawyer

Posted: Jul 19, 2015 at 6:08 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

The Chief Security Officer (CSO) to former President Goodluck Jonathan, Gordon Obua, who is in custody, has been denied his medications despite being diabetic and hypertensive, his lawyer has said.

The State Security Service (SSS) took Obua into custody on Thursday in line with investigations into government expenditure on security and oil theft under Jonathan.

Counsel to the former CSO, Onochie Onwuegbuna, has said that the SSS was detaining his client in unacceptable conditions.

In a statement issued at the weekend, the lawyer said

his client was the victim of a witch-hunted by the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, in a grand plot to bring down “marked” individuals who were part of the Jonathan administration “in order to implicate them by all means for phantom crimes or offences”.

Although he said Obua has been denied food and water by the SSS, TheCable understands that he is on a hunger strike to protest his being held in solitary confinement.

The statement said, “On July 16, 2015, (Obua) reported at the office of the Acting Director General by 5pm as directed, and as usual he was kept waiting till about 1am on Friday, July 17, 2015 when the ADG informed him that he would be detained, and he has been in detention since then without being informed what offence (if any) he is alleged to have committed or the reason for his detention.

“Our Client is hypertensive and diabetic to the knowledge of his employers, the SSS, and as a result he has been on daily medications to manage these very severe ailments and since his detention, he has completely been denied access to these medications.

“Our Client has also been denied access to  members  of  his  family, his  doctor and his lawyers and even more worrisome is the information obtained by his family that he has not eaten or drank water ever since he was detained.”

The statement declared that the “actions of the SSS” and Obua’s detention “constitute undue harassment and gross violation of his fundamental rights to respect for the dignity of his person and personal liberty as guaranteed by Sections 31 and 35 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

Onwuegbuna expressed the view that Obua was being harassed unduly because he was made to report at the SSS office every day since July 6, only to be detained in the early hours of Friday, July 17, 2015, “which was public holiday with the knowledge that Monday, July 21, 2015 is also a public holiday.”

He said, “The aim was clearly to ensure he is kept in detention for the period and to ensure that the earliest date available to his lawyers to approach the courts to enforce his fundamental right is Tuesday, July 21, 2015.

“Our Client is presently languishing in the custody of the SSS without access to his medication, food, water and drugs or to any member of his family, doctors or his lawyers and, in the circumstance, we hereby call on the SSS to immediately release him as he has not been informed (of) the facts and grounds of his detention, in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution.

“The general public is also invited to note that the SSS should be held responsible if anything untoward happens to our client in their custody or subsequently as a consequence of his unlawful detention.”