Five activists arrested at the Dunamis International Gospel Centre for wearing #BuhariMustGo T-shirts by the Department of State Services (DSS) have now spent 28 days in detention as the secret police continue to violate court order on their release.
The DSS which dragged them before a Magistrates' Court in Mpape last Thursday, also refused to allow them to perfect their bail conditions before hurrying them back into detention.
The activists namely Ben Mannaseh; Emmanuel Larry; Victor Udoka Anene; a blind Saxophonist, Samuel Gabriel Iwatonaiye and Henry Nwodohave have spent 28 days in illegal detention.
Human rights activist, Omoyele Sowore, on Sunday reiterated the unjust incarceration of the activists, calling for their immediate release from detention.
SaharaReporters had on Monday reported that Justice Anwuli Chikere of Federal High Court while ruling on the ex parte motion filed ordered the DSS to immediately release the activists from detention.
The DSS was thereafter served the court order by the court bailiff on the same day.
It had been reported that despite a release order from the Federal High Court, the DSS filed charges at a lower Magistrates' Court in Abuja against the five activists which also granted them bail.
Sowore stated that the DSS was characteristically known for violating court orders and the lower Magistrates' ought not to have heard the matter brought by the DSS.
He said, “#FreeDunamis5: On July 4th 2021, five young activists wearing #BuhariMustGo T-shirts attended Dr. Paul Enenche’s Dunamis International Gospel Centre in Abuja, they answered the 'Altar Call,' received Holy Communion and left the church peacefully but the Dunamis church security pounced on them, dragged them down to the church security posted, forcefully took over their phones and deleted the footage showing they attended the church and left.
“They proceeded to torture them and then invited the most lawless Nigerian secret service also known as 'DSS' to pick them up for indefinite detention. These young activists have been through hell as the DSS denied them access to their lawyers, families and medical care.
“Last week, a federal judge in Abuja ordered their release from detention, unconditionally but characteristically, the DSS decided to disregard the lawful order of the Federal judge.
“On Thursday the DSS drove them to a lower court, a Magistrates' court to arraign them for “disorderly conduct.” The Magistrate who ought to have repudiated DSS’s act of impunity disregarded the pleadings of their lawyer that a higher court had granted order for release, instead he ratifies the impunity of the DSS and proceeded to hear the case, and then granted them bail but the DSS couldn’t wait for the bail conditions to be concluded, they quickly drove the 5 Dunamis church victims away after harassing journalists at the court premises.
“They’ve refused to released them till date. This is the update regarding the Dunamis 5. Victims of collusion between the state and one of Nigeria’s biggest Pentecostal churches! #RevolutionNow #BuhariMustGo.”
SaharaReporters had reported that Iwatonaiye, a blind saxophonist, one of the detained activists, fell ill in custody and had not been given medical attention.
The situation is giving their families and relatives a serious concern.
The activists through their lawyer had sued the Director-General of the DSS, Yusuf Magaji Bichi, the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, and the Senior Pastor of the church, Paul Enenche, over their illegal arrest, detention and violation of their rights.
Two days after the arrest of the worshippers, activists, Sowore and Deji Adeyanju accompanied by their lawyer, Abubakar Marshal, met with the Senior Pastor (Enenche) of the church to demand their release.
The pastor was said to have confirmed that the arrest was made by DSS and absolved the church of any blame in the entire scenario. He also said he had been in touch with the DSS officials to get the young Nigerians released.
But unfolding events have shown that the church security officials and Enenche masterminded the arrest and torture of the five activists before handing them over to the DSS.