By Ikechukwu Nnochiri
ABUJA – A legal practitioner, Mr. Olukoya Ogungbeje has dragged President Muhammadu Buhari to court, accusing him of violating rights of judges whose houses were raided by operatives of the Department of State Service, DSS.
In an N50billion suit he entered before the Federal High Court in Abuja, the Lagos based lawyer, cited the DSS and its Director-General, Mr. Lawal Daura, as defendants.
Other defendants in the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/809/16, were the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, and the National Judicial Council, NJC.
The plaintiff contended that the arrest and detention of the judges without recourse to the NJC, was not only unconstitutional, but also aimed at ridiculing the judiciary arm of government.
According to him, the action of the DSS was in gross violation of rights of the judges as enshrined in sections 33, 34, 35, 36, and 41 of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.
Consequently, Ogungbeje who Instituted the action on behalf of five out of the seven judges whose homes were “invaded” between October 8 and 9, sought ten separate reliefs from the court, including award of N50billion as general and exemplary damages against the defendants, as well as another N2million as cost of the suit.
Besides, the plaintiff prayed the court for an order compelling the DSS to return to the judges, money that were seized from their homes.
As well as to make an order of perpetual injunction restraining the defendants from arresting, inviting, intimidating, or harassing any of the judges pertaining to the case.