About 60 Constitutional and Human Rights lawyers, today stormed the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory to commence proceedings against the Director General of the State Security Service, Mr Yusuf Bichi, for what they described as violation of multiple judgments and orders of court directing the release of former Central Bank Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele from custody of the agency.
The consortium of lawyers led by Mr. Maxwell Opara and Barrister Ahmed Tijani, prayed the court to commit the DSS DG to face the full wrath of the law until he purges himself of the abuse of the rule of justice.
In their Motion filed before the Court for the issuance of form 48 and 49 which are the forms to commence proceedings, the lawyers said by the judgments and orders of Justice M. A. Hassan, Justice Hamza Muazu and Justice Bello Kawu, the DG DSS ought to have released Mr. Godwin Emefiele from detention.
In the affidavit in support of the application, the consortium deposed to the fact that Justice M. A. Hassan restrained the respondents in that suit, particularly, the State Security Service from arresting, detaining, or interrogating Mr. Emefiele for offences connected to Terrorism financing, money laundering, round tripping, financial crimes of national security dimension adding that despite the clear and positive orders of Justice Hassan, the State Security Service still went ahead to arrest and detain Mr. Emefiele for over a month while shopping for evidence which does not exist.
While addressing newsmen after filing their processes at the Registry of the Court, Mr. Maxwell Opara said the group will pursue the matter to its logical conclusion and ensure that Mr. Bichi is sent to prison so as to serve as a deterrent to other heads of security agencies and top government officials that contempt of court and gross abuse of their offices for personal vendetta will no longer be tolerated.
Mr. Opara also appealed to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to immediately relieve Mr. Yusuf Bichi of his appointment as DG SSS for having obviously misled the President that Mr. Emefiele had committed heinous crimes against the State only for him to now file a charge of possession of a validly registered pump action rifle against Mr. Emefiele.
He stresses that it is not clear enough to Nigerians why the DSS is persecuting Mr. Emefiele after detaining him for 5 weeks and can only but file a ridiculous charge of possessing a validly registered pump action gun which is not a crime, worthy of being held in perpetual detention.
Opara concluded by saying assuming there was no valid court order, since the DSS had been unable to find any evidence against Mr. Emefiele, he was entitled to his release and how much more now that three different courts have ordered his release, the DSS is still holding him in unlawful detention and violating his rights, hence the reason why the consortium will ensure Mr. Yusuf Magaji Bichi ends up being committed to face the rule of justice for violation of the court’s order.
Garry Ochigbo, Edited By Grace Namiji
Written by: Bukky Alabi
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