By Ikechukwu Nnochiri – Abuja
The Federal High Court in Abuja, on Monday, ordered the Department of State Services, DSS, to release five ‘Buhari Must Go’ protesters that were arrested at Dunamis International Gospel Centre on July 4.
The five youths- Ben Manasseh, Anene Udoka, Henry Nwodo, Samuel Larry and Samuel Gabriel- were arrested for allegedly wearing t-shirts with inciting inscriptions to attend a church service.
They were reportedly arrested by security men from Dunamis International Gospel Centre Headquarters in Lugbe and handed over to the DSS.
Meanwhile, following alleged refusal by the DSS to release them from detention or charge them to court, the arrested youths, through their lawyer, Mr Tope Temokun, filed an application to enforce their fundamental human rights.
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In their separate suits marked; FHC/ABJ/CS/631/2021, FHC/ABJ/CS/636/2021, FHC/ABJ/CS/637/2021, FHC/ABJ/CS/638/2021 and FHC/ABJ/CS/639/2021, the Applicants, prayed the court to enforce their rights as guaranteed under Sections 35, 38, 39 and 42 of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, and under Articles 1, 2, 6, 8 and 9 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights Ratification and Enforcement.
Temokun argued that his client were entitled to their fundamental rights to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, right to freedom of expression and the press, right to freedom from discrimination and right to personal liberty.
Cited as Defendants in the matter were the DSS, President Muhammadu Buhari, the founder of Dunamis church, Dr. Paul Enenche, the Director-General of the DSS, Mr Yusuf Bichi and the Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr Abubakar Malami, SAN.
Aside from asking the court to declare their arrest and detention unlawful, the Applicants applied to be paid N10million each in damages for the violation of their fundamental rights.
After she had listened to their separate ex-parte applications, Justice Anwuli Chikere ordered DSS to release the Applicants with immediate effect.
The matter was subsequently adjourned till August 2 for hearing.