The Federal High Court in Abuja, on Monday, ordered the State Security Service (SSS) to release five Buhari-must-go protesters who were apprehended at the premises of Dunamis International Gospel Centre in Abuja.
Ben Manasseh, Anene Udoka, Henry Nwodo, Samuel Larry and Samuel Gabriel were arrested on July 4 for wearing T-shirts with the inscription, ‘Buhari-Must-Go.’
Ruling on an exparte application filed by the detaniees’ lawyer, Tope Temokun, the judge, Anwuli Chikere, ordered the Nigerian secret police to immediately release them.
Mr Temokun had sought an order either releasing the detainees from custody or directing the SSS to produce them in court.
But the judge ruled that she had the power to order their release since the SSS had yet to file any charge against them.
PREMIUM TIMES had reported how the detainees sued the SSS, President Muhammadu Buhari, the church’s pastor-in-charge, Paul Enenche, and others for alleged unlawful arrest and detention.
They prayed the court to declare their arrest and detention unlawful, also asked the court to award N10 million, each, in damages, for the violation of their fundamental rights.
The suits are marked, FHC/ABJ/CS/631/2021, FHC/ABJ/CS/636/2021, FHC/ABJ/CS/637/2021, FHC/ABJ/CS/638/2021, and FHC/ABJ/CS/639/2021.
Mr Temokun had argued in the separate suits that his clients were entitled to fundamental right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, right to freedom of expression and the press, right to freedom from discrimination and right to personal liberty.
According to him, the rights are guaranteed under Sections 35, 38, 39 and 42 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and under Articles 1, 2, 6, 8 and 9 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights Ratification and Enforcement.
Other defendants include the Director-General of the SSS, Yusuf Bichi, and the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami.
The suit was adjourned till August 2 for hearing.
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