The Department of the State Service (DSS) has refused to honour the release warrants issued by a federal high court in Abuja for the bail of the 12 associates of Yoruba nation agitator, Sunday Igboho.
The release warrants signed by Justice Obiora Egwuatu after the detainees had perfected the bail granted them by his court could not be executed due to the alleged adamant of the security agency to let the 12 detainees out of its detention facility in Abuja
Director-General of the DSS, Yusuf Bichi, was said to have blocked lawyers from giving effect to the release warrants since Monday when they were served on him.
Apparently angry by the development, counsel to the 12 detained associates, Pelumi Olajengbesi has threatened to commence contempt proceedings against the Director-General of the State Security Services (SSS), Yusuf Magaji Bichi, for the agency’s alleged failure to comply with an order of the court for the release of his clients.
Speaking in Abuja, on Friday, Olajengbesi said his clients had, last week, met the conditions attached to the bail granted them by Justice Obiora Egwuatu of the Federal High Court, Abuja, following which the judge signed their release warrant, on Monday.
Olajengbesi said despite being served with the release warrant issued by the court, the DSS has failed to release the detainees, who were arrested during the July 1 raid on Igboho’s Ibadan home by a combined team of men of the Services and the Nigerian military, and have been detained since then.
The lawyer said: “The refusal of the DSS to honour a clear order of the court, though habitual, is not only worrisome and unacceptable but is an affront on the authority of the court and our entire judicial system.
“Such blatant disregard for, and contemptuous, spiteful and disrespect of an order of the court, if allowed to fester would undermine the very integrity of the court and breed even newer levels of rascality by state agents.
“It would also amount to surrendering the freedom and rights of all the 12 detainees to the whims and caprices of an agency that thrives in willful disobedience of court orders.
“In light of this, we are giving the DSS, particularly its Director-General, 48 hours and not an hour more, within which to fully obey and comply with the release order of the court in favour of all twelve detained associates of Mr Sunday Igboho or face contempt proceedings before a court of competent jurisdiction with the full weight and recompense of the court brought to bear against his insolence and disregard of the court order.
“Take notice that we will not fail to exhaust all legal and social remedy available to the detainees in enforcing their rights in this matter and setting the tone against the DSS’ notorious disregard of due process and the rule of law,” he said.