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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Lawyer reveals how DSS invaded Ogun court, arrested defendants against judge’s warning

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A lawyer, Kehinde Bamiwola of K H Bamiwola and Co, Beulah Chambers, Alagbon, Owode Yewa, has narrated how about eight operatives of the Department of State Services reportedly stormed Ogun State High Court sitting in Ilaro on Monday and whisked away the duo of Alhaji Fatai Isiaka and one Samuel Oyero.

Bamiwola said that the DSS officers’ actions were flagrant disobedience to Justice A A Shobayo’s earlier order that the DSS should not arrest anybody within the court’s premises.

The legal practitioner, in a statement on Tuesday, said that Isiaka and Oyero, who were whisked away by the DSS, are defendants in an ongoing case of arson with suit number HCP/IC/2023, The State vs. Awode Oladosu and 13 others.

He explained that the suit was a result of arson allegations reported by Chief Akeem Adigun, popularly called Socopao.

Bamiwola explained that while the court was sitting over this matter, as one of the counsels to the defendants, 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.

He revealed further that “upon this observation, His Lordship ordered the state counsel, one Timilehin Oredehin, to invite the men of the DSS to the open court.

“Their leader or team leader was warned and ordered to leave the court premises and that, if at all anyone is 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, Justice A.A. Shobayo.”

He alleged further that despite the age of Alhaji Fatai, he was beaten, slapped, man-handled, rough-handled, and molested publicly. Also, one of the court’s staff urging the DSS officers to obey the court’s order was not spared.

The legal practitioner condemned the security agency’s refusal to respect the rules of law and warned that such brazen acts of impunity could lead people to resort to self-help, which encourages anarchy and chaos.

Bamiwola has, therefore, called on relevant government authorities to investigate the DSS officers’ illegal acts and impose appropriate sanctions on the erring officers to serve as a deterrent to others.

The Principal Registrar of the High Court and Sectional Head of the High Court, Ilaro, Comrade Omololu Olusanya, who spoke to journalists, described the incident as shocking and a lack of respect for the rule of law.

He lamented, “The judge had ordered the operatives not to make any arrest within the court premises but could do that outside its premises.

“But they still went ahead and did the act to the extent that they assaulted one of our staff members, Mrs. 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, but they came to my lord this morning (Monday) and said they had some people to arrest. That was when we knew they were DSS officers.

“They approached the Judge before the court session began. The Honourable Judge advised them that it must not be done within the court premises if they wanted to make an arrest.

“They could stay outside and do whatever they wanted, but they refused that advice and carried out the arrest within the premises.

“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 p.m. while the court was still in session.”

However, a source within the secret police has said that the arrest of Alhaji Isiaka and Oyero was effected outside the court by operatives of the command and not within the court premises.

The source revealed that the duo were arrested for their alleged connection to the crisis that erupted in the Agosasa community in the Ipokia Local Government Area of the state over the obaship tussle.

The source said, “Contrary to reports going around, it is untrue that they were arrested within the court premises.

“The duo got apprehended in their vehicles outside the court while attempting to flee.”

Those arrested were allegedly said to be involved in widespread acts of violence in Agosasa while attempting to install one Sunday Abogunrin as community monarch against Ogun State Government-approved Azeez Akinpelu, resulting in killings and free use of weapons on innocent locals therein.

Isiaka and Oyero are said to be currently with the Ogun State command of the DSS, Abeokuta, for further investigation.

The source said, “Both Ajibola and Oyero were alleged to have severally sponsored a series of violent attacks at Agosasa prior to and in the aftermath of Akinpelu’s official coronation, leaving the community in despair, thereby necessitating several invitations by the DSS, which got rebuffed by the duo as they often escape to neighbouring Benin Republic upon commission of same.

“Hence, the agency’s moving for the culprits sequel to hint about their presence on Nigeria’s territory.”

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