Five detained ‘Buhari-Must-Go’ activists have commenced a contempt suit against the director-general of the State Security Service (SSS), Yusuf Bichi, for disobeying the court order for their release from custody.
The activists commenced the contempt suit with the filing of a ‘Notice of Consequences of Order of Court, also known as Form 48, on July 30, to push for the jailing of the SSS boss.
Ben Manasseh, Anene Udoka, Henry Nwodo, Samuel Larry and Samuel Gabriel were arrested for wearing T-shirts with the inscription, ‘Buhari-Must-Go’ at the Dunamis International Gospel Centre in Abuja, on July 4.
Recall the Federal High Court in Abuja ordered the release of the five detainees on July 26, and adjourned the applicants’ main suits each seeking N10million damages, for further hearing.
Instead of releasing the detainees, the SSS rushed to a chief magistrate’s court in Mpape, Abuja, on July 28, to arraign them on charges of disturbance of peace.
The defendants, who pleaded not guilty to the charges, were promptly granted bail by the chief magistrate, Mohammed Zubairu.
On Monday, the chief magistrate issued a notice for the release of the five defendants premised on the grounds that they had met their bail conditions.
Despite being served with the notice, according to Tope Temokun, the SSS has refused to release the detainees.
The defence lawyer, who said the agency was served with the Federal High Court’s order on July 29, noted that as of Monday, his clients were still being held by the spy agency, a development he described as a sign of the country sliding to dictatorship.
“Today is August 2, 2021, the Dunamis 5 are still held by the DSS (SSS) in flagrant flouting of the order of court.
“When a nation is slipping into dictatorship, the first feature is that the organs of government will begin to flout court orders. That is exactly what the DSS is doing today by their refusals to respect and obey court orders,” he said in a statement.
He described the situation of SSS’ disregard for a court order as “our tragedy as a nation.”