Pelumi Olajengbesi, a lawyer for Sunday Igboho’s colleagues, has threatened to charge Yusuf Magaji Bichi, the Director of State Services, with contempt of court.
The threat was made today after the agency refused to release all four people who had been held since their arrest on July 1st.
Despite the perfection, the secret police only freed two of the four remaining comrades.
He spoke at a press briefing in Abuja.
“No valid reasons based on law were availed the Legal Team for this wilful disobedience of the rule of law and express Order of court,” the lawyer said.
“The Yusuf Bichi-led DSS’ act of cherry-picking of an order of court is an open dare and affront on the authority of the issuing court and it lacks legal justification under the extant laws of Nigeria.
“It is indeed a condemnable action in any sane democratic society and speaks ill of the professionalism of the intelligence agency”.
Tajudeen Irinloye and Uthman Opeymi Adelabu were among those released today.
Amudat Habibat Babatunde, the only woman among the associates arrested, and Jamiu Noah Oyetunji are still being held by the agency.
Last week, eight more were made public.
Olajengbesi accused the DSS of selectively implementing court orders, threatening to sue for contempt of court.
Read the full text of the briefing:
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, whilst 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 its 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 based on law were availed the Legal Team for this wilful disobedience of the rule of law and express Order of court.
The DSS’ act of cherry-picking of an order of court is an open dare and affront on the authority of the issuing court and it lacks legal justification under the extant laws of Nigeria. It is indeed a condemnable action in any sane democratic society and speaks ill of the professionalism of the intelligence agency. The DSS simply has no right nor power to select or unilaterally handpick which order of court is convenient for it to obey or honour. It is bound to obey all. Any iota of non-compliance to an order of court is tantamount to a disregard of such an order in its entirety and a challenge to the Constitution.
This capricious act is contemptuous.
Consequently, we hereby 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 forthwith with our earlier plans to institute 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 laws 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.
Pelumi Olajengbesi Esq.