23rd July, 2021
By Taiye Agabje/Abuja
A Federal High Court, Abuja, on Friday, ordered the Department of State Services (DSS) to produce the 12 detained associates of Yoruba nation activist, Sunday Adeyemo, a.k.a Sunday Igboho, before it on July 29.
Justice Obiora Egwuatu gave the order after Counsel to the applicants, Pelumi Olajengbesi, moved the ex-parte motion marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/647/2021 dated July 7 and filed July 8.
Egwuatu also ordered the Nigeria’s secret police to come and show cause why the applicants should not be granted bail.
The judge granted the plea of the applicant, through the affidavit of urgency filed, on why the matter should be heard expeditiously irrespective of the imminent court vacation.
Olajengbesi said the application was predicated on eight grounds and one exhibit tagged: “Exhibit A.”
According to him, the applicants are Nigeria citizens who are entitled to freedom and have inherent rights, just like others.
Olajengbesi told the court that his clients had remained underground for the past 20 days, and were denied freedom.
He said the applicants were neither given access to their lawyers nor members of their families.
The lawyer, who said the world is watching how the judiciary would vitalise the consciousness of Nigerians, urged the court to grant all the prayers.
“Considering the nature of the application, we also filed affidavit of extreme urgency. We filed an affidavit of non-multiplicity of action.
“We urge you to grant this application in the interest of justice because this is the only place where we can seek refuge,” he said.
The lawyer stated further that everyone, including the respondents, were bound to abide by the country’s law.
According to him, while mindful of the fact that the court is proceeding on vacation, if this matter is not attend to, it will defeat the essence of its filing.
“We seek that this matter be heard during the vacation,” he appealed
The DSS said it arrested 13 associates of Igboho at a press conference on 1 July in Abuja. Among them was a woman, said to be Igboho’s wife.
The associates were arrested in an assault on Igboho’s residence in the Soka area of Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.
The DSS also said it killed two of the activist’s associates during a “gun duel” during which Igboho narrowly escaped.
Igboho had denied his men shot at the DSS operatives and that, on the contrary, the DSS began shooting from the gate.
Video images showed that the DSS also destroyed furniture and vehicles parked in Igboho’s compound.
He was later declared wanted for allegedly stockpiling arms, an allegation he denied.
He is now in Benin Republic, facing allegation of using a forged Beninese passport and extradition request from the Buhari government.