Skip to main content

DSS Rearrests Lawyer Hours After Being Granted Bail For Criticising Abia Governor

Ogbonna was arrested six weeks ago on the orders of governor of the state, Okezie Ikpeazu, over a post he made on Facebook.

The Department of State Services has rearrested Empero Gabriel Ogbonna, a legal practitioner based in Abia State, hours after he was granted bail by a Federal High court sitting at Umuahia, the state capital.

Ogbonna was arrested six weeks ago on the orders of governor of the state, Okezie Ikpeazu, over a post he made on Facebook.

He was alleged to have posted that Ikpeazu visited a shrine outside the country where he swore to an oath of allegiance and secrecy to former governor of the state.

Ogbonna has denied being the originator of the post but that he only reshared it. 


He was subsequently charged to court with an offence of terrorism and in spite of all obstacles put in place by the state government, he was eventually granted bail on the condition that he was handed over to a lawyer, who had spent not less than 20 years at the bar.

SaharaReporters gathered that this judgment infuriated officials of the state government, who crowded the court premises.

The government officials led by Chief of Staff to the governor, Dr. A.C Agbazuere, who incidentally is also a lawyer, accompanied by officials of the DSS then made forceful attempt to rearrest Ogbonna within the premises of the Federal High Court but was resisted by prison officials and lawyers present because the bail term was yet to be perfected.

Upon obtaining the necessary documentation in the presence of prison warders, they drove to the Correctional Center at Afara Umuahia, rearrested Ogbonna and whisked him away to an unknown destination.

“He was released to the DSS officials and officials of Abia State Government on orders from above, they really wanted to deal with him,” a prison source told SaharaReporters.

Kunle Edun, National Publicity Secretary of Nigerian Bar Association, expressed anger at the development.

Edun in a statement said, “The circumstances surrounding the arrest and rearrest of Emperor Ogbonna by the DSS at the instance of the Abia State Government are very disturbing.

“Without commenting on the merit of the charge being subjudice, it is a fact that the matter has already been submitted to the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court, and the court graciously granted Emperor Ogbonna bail.

“There was therefore no basis for the further involvement of the DSS apparently at the instigation by the officials of the Abia State Government to continue denying Ogbonna his constitutional right to personal liberty.

“The forceful arrest and continued detention of Ogbonna has made it impossible for him to perfect his bail term, and therefore, the actions of the Abia State Government and the DSS amount to flagrant disobedience to a valid order of a Federal High Court and violation of the constitutional rights of Ogbonna.

“The Nigerian Bar Association, therefore, demands that the DSS and Abia State Government immediately release Emperor Ogbonna to face his charge before the Federal High Court, for which plea has already been taken and the matter adjourned for hearing.”