Court Sends Abaribe Back to DSS Custody

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Justice Binta Nyako of a Federal High Court in Abuja on Tuesday refused to order the release of the detained Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe from the custody of the Department of State Security (DSS).
The DSS arrested Abaribe on June 22 in what his Lawyer alleged was for gun running and activities of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

Recall, Abaribe is one of the sureties for the leader of IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu, who was granted bail in April 2017, has not been seen since the army invaded his country in Abia State, September 2017.
His counsel, Chukwuma Umeh (SAN) on Tuesday made an oral application for the release of the detained Senator, who represents Abia South at the Senate.

Umeh told the court that his client who was arrested last weekend over his alleged role in the IPOB matter, was brought to court in chains by the DSS. While stating that Abaribe since his arrest has been held incommunicado by the DSS without been charged to court, Umeh said Abaribe’s arrest is capable of jeopardizing the trial.

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He therefore urged the court to order the release of Senator Abaribe from DSS custody.
Responding, the trial Judge stated that since the arrest of Abaribe was not a matter before him, their is nothing the court could do, adding that in situation such as this, Abaribe’s counsel ought to know the next step to take.

However, following much pleading by Abaribe’s counsel, Justice Nyako requested for the DSS official who brought Abaribe to court and ordered that he be allowed access to his lawyers. “Allow him have access to his counsel, you cannot hold him incommunicado. No matter what reason he has been arrested, allow him access to his lawyers”, the court ordered.

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Earlier, Umeh and counsel to the second surety, Aloy Ejimakor, informed the court of a motion they both filed challenging the jurisdiction of court to entertain the matter on the grounds that the order served on their clients to show cause why they should not forfeit their bail bond for Kanu or be remanded in prison custody did not comply with the law.

The court adjourned till Nov 14 for continuation of the matter.


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