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Court Declares Detention Of APC Staff Illegal, Orders Immediate Release


By Funmilayo Omidiji

A Federal High Court in Lagos, has ordered the Department of State Security (DSS), to effect the release of the five officials of the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) arrested by its men in the party data’s entry office in Ikeja, over a week ago.

In the resumed hearing Monday, of the suit filed by the APC Counsel, Professor Yemi Osibajo (SAN), Justice Mohammed Yunusa held that the Nigerian law did not permit detention of an accused for over 48 hours before being charged to court, noting that if there was need to extend the period of a detention, the law enforcement agency would be required to file an application in the same regard before a court of law.

Justice Yunusa indicated: ” The arrest and detention of the applicants for the purpose of investigations is a clear violation of Section 35 of the Constitution. The remand order, whether valid or invalid, has exceeded the time limit permitted as reasonable by the Section 35 of the Constitution”.

He therefore maintained the arrest and subsequent detention of the plaintiff’s members of staff, in the name of questioning and investigations were unconstitutional.

Consequently, the jurist ordered immediate release of the plaintiff’s staffers as well as restrained the security outfit from further arrest of the workers, pending court’s ruling on the substantive suit.

The plaintiff’s staff arrested by DSS on Saturday, November 22, 2014, included: Chinedu Atuche; Fayemi Olaposi; Augustine Onuchukwu; Ebun Ilori and Esther Enemy. The five were picked at the National data entry office of APC, situated in Ikeja, the State capital.

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