Pelumi Olajengbesi, lawyer to 12 arrested aides of Yoruba Nation activist, Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho, has warned the Director-General of the Department of State Services, Yusuf Bichi, to comply with the court order and release the remaining two detainees in the agency’s custody.
According to Olajengbesi in a statement on Friday, a contempt proceeding would be instituted against the DSS and its Director-General for failing to release the detainees despite the fact that they had been served with the court’s signed warrant of release.
The secret police had on August 30 released eight of the 12 aides of the agitator.
It subsequently released two of the remaining four on Friday but refused to release the other two namely; Amudat Habibat Babatunde and Jamiu Noah Oyetunji, contrary to an order of the court that granted bail to the entire 12 arrested aides.
Condemning the action of the DSS, Olajengbesi said the secret police should stop carrying out its official responsibility with impunity and absolute disrespect to the law of the land especially where the constitutional rights and liberty of citizens are at stake.
He said, “The keenly observing world will recall that during our last press briefing on the on-going case of Chief Sunday Igboho’s aides, it was reported that the DSS is yet release four (4) of detainees on their custody on grounds of bail perfection technicality, in which we were allowed to secure the release of others.
“Sequel to the refusal of the DSS to release the other detainees, concerted efforts were immediately made to resolve all technical issues raised by the DSS. Accordingly, on Friday the 3rd of September, 2021, all issues raised were resolved and we proceeded to the Headquarters of the DSS to demand the immediate release of the four (4) remaining detainees in their custody.
“Regrettably and in the whimsical habit of the DSS, only two of the remaining four received their freedom while the other two namely; Amudat Habibat Babatunde and Jamiu Noah Oyetunji, remain in the unlawful custody of the DSS. No valid reasons on law were availed the Legal Team for this willful disobedience of the rule of law and court.
“The DSS' cherry-picking of an order of court is an open dare and affront on the authority of the issuing court and it lacks legal backing under the extant laws of Nigeria. It is a condemnable action in any sane democratic society and speaks ill of the professionalism of the intelligence agency. The DSS simply have no right nor power to select or unilaterally handpick which order of court is convenient for it to obey or honor. Any iota of non-compliance to an order of court is tantamount to disregard of such an order in its entirety and same is contemptuous.
“Consequently, we want to restate that if by Monday the 6th of September, 2021, the DSS continue with their unlawful detention of the remaining two (2) detainees, we shall not hesitate to proceed with our earlier plans to institute a contempt proceeding against the Director General of the SSS, Yusuf Magaji Bichi.
“The DSS as a law enforcement agency should not be allowed to carry out its official responsibility with impunity and absolute disrespect to the law of the land especially where the constitutional rights and liberty of citizens are at stake. It is a reprehensible conduct unbecoming of an agency which is itself a creation of the law and it will not go unchallenged.”