Lawyer, DSS disagree over clients’ arrest at Ogun court

 

A lawyer, Kehinde Bamiwola, on Tuesday, accused the Department of State Services of invading the Ogun State High Court in Ilaro to arrest his clients, despite the warning by the judge against the action.

But the spokesperson for the DSS, Dr Peter Afunanya, denied the development while claiming that the DSS did not carry out any arrest in court.

Afunanya said, “This is not true. The DSS did not carry out any arrest in the court. The service observes the rule of law in its operations.”

However, the lawyer, in a statement on Tuesday, narrated how DSS operatives stormed the court to arrest his clients, identified as Alhaji Fatai Isiaka and Samuel Oyero.

The men are defendants in an ongoing case of arson with Suit No: HCP/IC/2023.

Bamiwola said the action of the DSS officers was in flagrant disobedience to the instruction of Justice A. A. Shobayo, who had earlier ordered the DSS not to arrest anybody within the premises of the court.

Bamiwola explained that while the court was sitting over the matter, he stood up to draw the attention of the court to the presence of the DSS officers and that he feared that they were around to arrest some of the defendants in the ongoing trial.

“Upon this observation, His Lordship ordered the state counsel, one Timilehin Oredehin, to invite the men of the DSS to the open court.

“Their team leader was warned and ordered to leave the court premises and that if at all anyone was to be arrested, it should not be within the court premises as they (DSS) know the houses of their targets or suspects to be arrested.

“But the men of the DSS, after leaving the court’s hall, went out within the court’s premises, flouted, disregarded and violated the order of the court by forcefully arresting Alhaji Fatai Isiaka and one Samuel Oyero.

 

“It took the smartness of the driver to Alhaji Saheed Olabisi to escape the illegal and unconstitutional arrest notwithstanding the order given by His Lordship, Honourable Justice A.A. Shobayo.”

The lawyer alleged that despite the age of Alhaji Fatai, he was beaten, slapped, manhandled, and molested publicly, adding that one of the court’s officials, who intervened was also assaulted.

The legal practitioner, while condemning the refusal of the security agency to respect the rule of law, warned that such brazen acts of impunity could make people resort to self-help, which can lead to anarchy and chaos.

Bamiwola, therefore, called on relevant government authorities to investigate the matter.

The Principal Registrar of the Ogun State High Court and Sectional Head of the High Court, Ilaro,  Omololu Olusanya, described the incident as shocking and a lack of respect for the rule of law.

Olusanya, who spoke to journalists, said it was appalling that notwithstanding the court directive, “they (DSS operatives) still went ahead and did the act to the extent that they assaulted one of our staff members, Fadina, while doing that act.”

“It’s a very sad issue that caused a lot of noise within the court premises.

“They came with sophisticated guns and arrived in an unregistered white bus. They did not wear anything that identified them as DSS.”

“The arrest was carried out while the proceedings were ongoing; the court had to adjourn because the noise was too much. It happened around 12:30 pm while the court was still in session,” Olusanya said.

 

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