The State Security Service (SSS), on Monday, produced in court, eight of the 12 persons it arrested at the residence of a Yoruba nation agitator, Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho. They were arrested during a July raid of Mr Adeyemo’s house in Ibadan, Oyo State.
Four of the 12 detainees were not brought to court due to what was likely due to the mix-up in the names presented to the court by their lawyers.
Judge Obiora Egwuatu of the Federal High Court in Abuja had on July 23 ordered the SSS to produce the detainees in court on July 29.
The security agency flouted the order as they failed to produce the detainees.
At the July 29 proceedings when the SSS was expected to produce all the 12 detainees, the agency’s lawyer, I. Awo, told the court that it only had three detainees who were apprehended at Mr Igboho’s home in Ibadan on July 1.
The court adjourned till Monday and restated its order compelling the SSS to produce the detainees in court.
In partial obedience to the court order on Monday, the SSS produced eight of the 12 detainees.
At Monday’s proceedings, the judge granted an application by the detainees’ counsel, Pelumi Olajengbesi, to amend the discrepancies in the names of the suspects being held by the Nigerian secret police.
“The court granted our application to amend the processes bearing the names of our clients. Some of the names of the detainees in the court documents are nicknames. So, we have applied to the court to correct them.
“Hopefully, the SSS will bring the remaining four detainees at the next sitting,” Mr Olajengbesi told journalists.
The judge adjourned the case till August 4 after which the detainees produced in court were driven back to SSS custody.
The 12 detainees have not been charged with any offence since their arrest on July 1.
They include Abdullateef Ofeyagbe, Amoda Babatunde (Aka Lady K), Tajudeen Erinoyen, Diakola Ademola, Abideen Shittu, and Jamiu Noah.
The rest are: Ayobami Donald, Adelabe Usman, Oluwafelumi Kunle, Raji Kazeem, Taiwo Opeyemi and Bamidele Sunday.
The court’s earlier order for the detainees to be produced in court followed a fundamental rights enforcement suit filed by their lawyer, Mr Olajengbesi.
The suit was anchored on section 32(1) and (2) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, ACJA, as well as sections 6(6), 35 and 36 of the Nigerian Constitution.
However, on Thursday, SSS lawyer, I. Awo, informed the court that the service procured an order to hold the detainees.
Mr Awo had based the absence of the 12 detainees on the grounds that investigation into the circumstances that led to their arrest at Mr Igboho’s home were ongoing.
The SSS on July 1 confirmed that its operatives stormed Mr Igboho’s home in Ibadan in a bid to effect his arrest.
Addressing journalists at the headquarters of the SSS in Abuja, Peter Afunanya, the service’s spokesperson, said 13 suspects, including a female and 12 males, were arrested.
PREMIUM TIMES had reported how gunmen invaded Mr Igboho’s house, located in Soka, Ibadan, capital of Oyo State around 1:00 a.m. on July 1.
His vehicles, including his G-wagon, Prado Jeep, and some valuable properties including furniture and windows were reportedly vandalised.
The attack occurred barely 72 hours to the planned rally in Lagos by Mr Igboho and others to further canvas an independent Yoruba nation.
Mr Igboho had, in April, raised a similar alarm that his building was under siege. He claimed then that soldiers invaded his residence at midnight. The army denied this at the time.
But confirming the early morning raid on MrIgboho’s home, Mr Afunaya said a total of seven AK 47 rifles were recovered, alongside pump-action guns and 5,000 rounds of ammunition including other weapons.
He said security operatives recovered the weapons after a “hot gun duel between them and Mr Igboho’s guards.”
Mr Afunaya said two of Mr Igboho’s men were killed in the process while a security agent was shot on the right hand and had to be treated.
He added that aside from the rifles, other items recovered at Mr Igboho’s residence include 30 AK 47 magazines, 5,000 rounds of ammunition, three locally made bulletproof jackets and a German resident permit, amongst others.
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