Again, Court orders release of detained APC data officers

By The Citizen
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A Federal High Court, sitting in Lagos, has for a seconf time ordered the immediate release of the five officials of the All Progressives Congress detained by the Department of State Security.

The five officers - Chinedu Atuche, Fayemi Olaposi, Augustine Onuchukwu, Ebun Ilori and Esther Enemy - were arrested by the DSS during a raid of the APC data office in Ikeja, Lagos, on November 22.

The DSS said the raid was informed by intelligence information that some unwholesome activities were being perpetrated within the said building.

On Monday, at the resumed hearing in the fundamental rights enforcement action filed on behalf of the five officers by Prof. Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), Justice Mohammed Yunusa declared the continued detention of the officers by the DSS as unlawful.

The judge, in a bench ruling, said it was against the provision of Section 35 of the Constitution to continue to hold the applicants in detention while the DSS was conducting its investigations.

Justice Yunusa held that a citizen could not be detained for more than 48 hours before being charged to court, adding that if there was any need to extend that period, the law enforcement agency shall be required to file an application for a review of the period before a court of law.

The judge therefore ordered the applicants' immediate release in addition to an order restraining the DSS from further arresting them pending the determination of the substantive suit.

' 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.

'The same arrest and detention of the applicants is illegal and they are hereby released,' Justice Yunusa said in his ruling.