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12 Mar 2016

Court Orders DSS To Release Ekiti Lawmaker

Federal High Court sitting in Ado Ekiti has ordered the immediate release of a member of the Ekiti State House of Assembly, Hon Afolabi Akanni, from the custody of the Department of State Services.
Alternatively, in the ruling delivered by Justice Taiwo Taiwo, the court ordered the DSS to produce Akanni in Court on Wednesday, March 16 and give the reason(s) why he would not be released.
Akanni, who is representing Efon constituency, was arrested last Friday by operatives of DSS from Abuja for undisclosed reason and had since been detained by the security agency.
The lawmaker through his lawyers, Messrs Obafemi Adewale and Bunmi Olugbade in an ex-parte application, sought the protection of his fundamental human rights in line with Section 35 (1) of the 1999 constitution.
He also sought an order restraining the DSS from further re-arresting, harassing or intimidating him until the main issue pending before the court is entertained and judgement dispensed.
In an ex-parte motion number FHC/AD/CS/18/16, dated March 10 and supported by 21-paragraph affidavits, deposed to by a member of the
State House of Assembly, Hon Tunji Akiyele, sought an order of the court compelling the DSS to release him pending the determination of the substantive issue.
Justice Taiwo in his ruling agreed with the applicant that the enforcement of fundamental human rights is a case of urgency, which should be treated expeditiously, citing the cases of Beko Ransome Kuti Vs SSS and Tunji Abayomi Vs SSS to justify his stand. Justice Taiwo ordered that the respondent should be served with all the court processes on or before March 16, when the detained lawmakers will be brought before the court.
The judge who granted an order restraining Hon Akanni from being rearrested by DSS after being released to pursue the case said, “I want him the applicant, Hon Afolabi Akanni be produced in this court in Ado Ekiti on Wednesday, March 16 by DSS and give the reason why the applicant is being detained or why should not be released”, the Judge said.
“Section 35 (4), (5), C and D of the 1999 constitution and order (4) rule (4) of the fundamental civil procedure rule show the conditions that must be met before a person can be arrested and detained and this has not been met .
“The averment in the applicant’s affidavit contends that issue of liberty requires expeditious trial because it involves life and that every society is governed by the rule of law, which shows that everything must be done according to the law and there should be no arbitrariness”, he said.
Counsel to the applicant, Mr Olugbade , who praised the Court for granting the prayers, called on the DSS as an agency of government to comply with the order by releasing Hon. Akanni without further delay.
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