By Olalekan Awojodu
Again, Justice Obiora Egwuatu of the Federal High Court, Abuja on Thursday issued a fresh order on the Director General of the Department of the State Security Service (DSSS) to produce before it 12 aides of the alleged Yoruba nation activist, Sunday Igboho.
The aides who are applicants in the matter have been detained since July 2 by the DSS operatives after their arrest.
They are Abdulateef Ofeyagbe, Amoda Babatunde, Tajudeen Erinoyen, Diakola Ademola, Abideen Shittu, Jamiu Noah, and Ayobami Donald.
Others are Adelabe Usman, Oluwapelimi Kunle, Raji Kazeem, Taiwo Opeyemi and Bamidele Sunday.
The two respondents in the matter are Director general Department of state security service (DSS) and State security services, (SSS).
The fresh order by the presiding Judge followed the refusal of the security agency to make them available for bail consideration as ordered on July 23.
The Thursday fresh order was sequel to an appeal by DSS counsel Mr Idowu Awo that the agency be given another time to comply with the order.
DSS counsel informed the court that the detained applicants could not be produced in court because of the nature of their arrest and detention.
He argued that he had filed a counter affidavit to explain the dimensions and sophistication of the investigation being carried out on the detainees.
Awo submitted further that the DSS obtained an order of court permitting the detention of the applicants for 14 days in order to interrogate them.
He added that some names on the federal high court order were at variance with the list of those being detained , saying that only 4 out 12 names correspond with that of DSS.
Despite the plea, Justice Egwuatu was not persuaded, arguing that the order of his court was in English language and unambiguous that the detainees be produced in court.
The Judge held that the order ought to be obeyed to the letter after which the DSS can subsequently offer explanations for their detention.
He said that the liberty of the Nigerian citizens is at stake and that it is the duty of court to protect it for citizens when called upon to do so as in the instant case.
DSS counsel later apologized to the court and sought an adjournment to enable them comply with the court order.
Justice Egwuatu subsequently fixed Monday August 2 for DSS to produce the detainees in court
Not done, the Judge equally ordered DSS to allow counsel to the detainees, Mr Pelumi Olajemgbesi to access them before the adjourned date.
Olajengbesi had earlier pleaded with the court to sanction DSS for an act of disrespect to lawful court order for the production of the detainees.
He faulted the order paper clamped by DSS for the 14 days detention of the applicants adding that the order was not certified as required by law for public documents.
The counsel insisted that it was wrong for the DSS to have detained the applicants for 25 days without charging them to court or grant them administrative bail despite the fact that the Supreme law presumes innocence.
Olajengbesi told the that one, Sunday Adeyemo was the target of the DSS during the raid carried out on July 2 adding that the arrest of the applicants on the day was just an unfortunate event.