Though a Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday ordered the Department of State Services (DSS) to release five #BuhariMustGo activists, including a blind saxophonist, arrested at the Dunamis International Gospel Centre in Abuja, the secret police have refused to heed the court order.
The activists were arrested, detained, and assaulted for wearing #BuhariMustGo T-shirts to the church.
But Justice A. I. Chikere of the Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday ordered the DSS to immediately release the five activists namely: Ben Mannaseh, Emmanuel Larry, Victor Udoka Anene, a blind Saxophonist, Samuel Gabriel Iwatonaiye, and Henry Nwodo from custody.
However, since the court ruling, the DSS has not released the activists from illegal detention.
A source on Tuesday told SaharaReporters that, to frustrate the activists' suit at the Federal High Court, the DSS took them to a Magistrate's Court.
SaharaReporters, however, learnt that the magistrate refused to arraign them on any charge without legal representation for the activists.
"They took the activists secretly to a Magistrate's Court last Monday as soon they heard their (activists') lawyers had filed a fundamental enforcement lawsuit before a Federal High Court.
"But the Abuja Magistrate refused to have them arraigned, insisting that they must be afforded legal representation," the source said.
SaharaReporters had reported that the victims of the illegal arrest and detention were abused by church officials before being handed over to DSS operatives on July 4.
Iwatonaiye and four others had sued the Director-General of the DSS, Yusuf Magaji Bichi, Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, and pastor of the church, Paul Enenche over their illegal arrest, detention and violation of their rights.
The youths have been in detention of the secret police since July 4 for wearing #BuhariMustGo T-shirts to the church.
They took the matter to court, seeking an order restraining the DSS and other respondents in the suits from violating their fundamental rights to freedom of religion and freedom of expression and the press as guaranteed under Sections 35, 38, 39, and 42 of the 1999 Constitution.
They also asked the court to protect their rights to freedom from discrimination and personal liberty guaranteed under Articles 1, 2, 6, 8 and 9 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act (CAP. A9), Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
The applicants urged the court to order their immediate and unconditional release from the DSS custody, which wae granted but disobeyed by the lawless secret police.