Pelumi Olajengbesi, lawyer to the detained aides of Yoruba Nation agitator, Sunday Adeyemo, alias Sunday Igboho, says the Department of State Services will be damaging Nigeria’s reputation by refusing to comply with court orders granting bail to 12 of his clients.
The lawyer stated this in a letter to the secret police on Tuesday titled, ‘Request For The Release Of Amudat Habibat Babatunde And Jamiu Noah Oyetunji Already Granted Bail By The Federal High Court But Still In Your Custody’.
It partly read, “The continuous incarceration of the Applicants particularly Amudat Habibat Babatunde, a single mother with aged parents and the sole bread-winner of her family who since her arrest by your agency lost all contact and possible means to see and fend for the welfare of her children and aged parents, have greatly affected their families and caused untold regression of their health.
“While we respect the intentions of the Service to charge the detainees pursuance to the laws of the land, it is equally imperative to note that same law has granted them bail and a further direction has been made by the Court that the detainees should report to the SSS on the first Monday of every month which we shall ensure that the detainees obey.
“We strongly believe that respecting an order of court is a mandatory responsibility and the SSS being a creation of law and an agency that prides itself on the strict observance of the Rule of Law will be damaging the reputation of the country by refusing to comply with same for any reason.
“In view of this, we appeal that in the interest of justice, respect of the rule of law and the mental welfare of the detainees and their family, that the SSS effect their release in accordance with the bail order of court even as we assure the agency of their availability at any time they are needed afterwards.”
It had earlier been reported that the DSS, last week, freed 10 of the 12 aides of Igboho after over 60 days in detention following their arrested since July 1.
The DSS had during a midnight invasion of Igboho’s Soka house in Ibadan, Oyo State, arrested 12 of the activist’s allies and whisked them away to Abuja, where they had been kept in detention.
The detainees had approached the court to seek their fundamental right to freedom.
Justice Obiora Egwuatu of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja had on August 4, 2021, granted bail to the 12 detainees.
They had met their bail conditions, including the provision of 24 sureties, but the DSS lawyer, Idowu Awo, had kicked against the bail granted by Justice Egwuatu to four of them, claiming that they were heavily involved in the alleged offence of arms stockpiling and other criminal activities of their boss, Igboho.
After a long dilly-dally, the secret police, in compliance with a court order, first released eight of the 12 detainees on Monday, August 30, 2021, holding onto the remaining four. Two more aides were freed last Friday while Amudat Babatunde (female) and Jamiu Oyetunji are still in detention.
Three Senior Advocates of Nigeria – Femi Falana, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa and Ifedayo Adedipe – had said that the DSS was inviting anarchy and lawlessness into the country by not obeying the order for the release of the 12 detainees.
Igboho, wanted by the DSS for alleged arms trafficking, has been in detention in Cotonou, Benin Republic, since July 19, 2021 when he was arrested at an airport as he tried to board a Germany-bound flight.