Eight of the 12 detained aides of Yoruba activist, Sunday Adeyemo, aka Sunday Igboho have been released.
This was confirmed by their lawyer, Pelumi Olajengbesi on Monday. He, however, said the remaining four aides must be released as they have all met their bail conditions.
The aides were released to Olajengbesi after the Department of State Services (DSS) failed to comply with a court ruling on the matter.
It would be recalled that the lawyer had issued an ultimatum to the DSS to release the detained aides, who were arrested at Igboho’s house.
Judge Obiora Egwuatu of the Federal High Court in Abuja had on July 23 ordered the DSS to produce the detainees in court on July 29. But the DSS only produced 8 of the detained 12 aides.
It was gathered that they were released to their lawyer following the threat of filling a case of contempt against the security outfit.
Olajengbesi had given the DSS 48 hours to release them in line with the court order that granted them bail.
The DSS had continued to hold the activists in an underground cell despite perfecting their bail conditions.
Olajengbesi, while addressing journalists at a press conference in Abuja on Friday, gave the Director-General of the service 48 hours to fully obey and comply with the release order of the court in favour of all 12 detained associates of Igboho or face contempt proceedings before a court.
The human rights lawyer said the refusal of the DSS to honour a clear order of court, though habitual, was not only worrisome but an affront on the authority of the court and the country’s judicial system.
He said, “It has become imperative and urgent to make this brief address in light of the vindictive and oppressive conduct of the State Security Service (SSS) (also known as DSS) in the matter involving 12 detained associates of Yoruba Nation activist, Chief Sunday Adeyemo, aka Igboho.
“In the wee hours of the 1st of July, 2021, a joint team of men from the State Security Service (SSS) and the Nigerian military, with neither lawful cause nor a warrant of arrest, broke into the Ibadan home of the Yoruba Nation activist popularly known as Sunday Igboho and extra-judicially murdered two of his associates while rounding up, bounding and abducting 12 others to be incarcerated without cause in the dungeons of the SSS where they continue to languish without reprieve to this day.
“All 12 detainees who were immediately subjected to degrading conditions of detention and torture were denied access to their lawyers by the SSS up until the intervention of the court through an order recognising and re-emphasizing the detainees’ right to legal representation against whatever allegations against them.
“Regrettably and indeed unacceptably, while no charges, in full or tentatively, have been preferred against all 12 detainees, the SSS have failed and refused to honour an order of court which granted bail to and ordered the release of all twelve detainees upon the perfection of the terms of their bail which have now been fully satisfied and duly communicated to the SSS.
“The refusal of the SSS to honour a clear order of 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 insolent disrespect of an order of 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 twelve detainees to the whims and caprices of an agency that has gone rogue and thrives in wilful disobedience of court orders.
“In light of this, we are giving the SSS, particularly its Director-General, forty-eight (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 12 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 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 SSS’ notorious disregard of due process and the rule of law.”
Following the release of the 8 associates of Igboho, human rights activist, Omoyele Sowore also called for the release of the remaining four still in DSS custody.
“8 of #OduduwaRepublic 12 now released by lawless DSS. They must release everybody including ‘Lady K’ #nogoingbacknow #Revolutionnow,” he said on Monday.