Dr. Babatunde Ajibade, SAN has expressed concerns over the continued detention of Emperor Ogbonna by the DSS even after court orders have directed for the release of the lawyer. He expressed full support for the peaceful protests demanding the release of the lawyer. His statement reads in full:
I SUPPORT THE PEACEFUL PROTEST MARCH DEMANDING COMPLIANCE WITH THE COURT ORDERS DIRECTING THE RELEASE OF EMPEROR OGBONNA
In an earlier statement issued on 29th April 2020, I expressed concern and displeasure at the blatant disrespect for the judiciary and the rule of law by the Department of State Security (DSS) in the case of Mr. Emperor Ogbonna.
Mr. Ogbonna is an Aba based lawyer who was arrested sometime in March this year by the DSS. The Federal High Court granted him bail but the DSS rearrested him and detained him without any formal charge.
I am advised that there is another Federal High Court Order issued on 29th June 2020 in which the court ordered his immediate release and awarded 1.5 million Naira as damages against the DSS for his continued wrongful detention. Till date these orders have not been complied with by the DSS.
It is disheartening that this tyranny by Nigerian security services continues to fester.
I am in full support of the peaceful protest march that has been planned for today, 14th July 2020, by members of the Bar in Abuja and various civil society groups calling for the unconditional release of our colleague and obedience to court orders by Nigerian security agencies. I am unable to be there in person, but I am ably represented by Mr. Maxwell Opara of the NBA, Bwari Branch.
The blatant disregard for and disobedience to valid court orders by agents of the State must be brought to an end.
The judiciary must also stand up in this fight. It is only when we all unite together that we can succeed.
We must all do better.
Dr Babatunde Ajibade SAN, FCIArb.