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Saturday, May 13, 2017

Why we can’t release Ifeanyi Ubah now – DSS


The Department of States Services on Friday told the Federal High Court in Lagos that it had secured a court order authorising it to detain the Managing Director of Capital Oil and Gas Limited, Ifeanyi Ubah, in its custody for at least 14 days.



It, therefore, said it could not produce Ubah in court on Friday contrary to a May 9, 2017, order by Justice Mohammed Idris that Ubah should be brought before him and the DSS should explain why an order for Ubah’s unconditional release should not be made.

The DSS counsel, Mr. Peter Oluremodu, who appeared before Justice Idris on Friday with a notice of objection to the order to produce Ubah in court, said Ubah was being detained on the orders of Justice Y. Haliru of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

The lawyer said the order was lawfully obtained in compliance with the provisions of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015.
But Ubah’s lawyer, Mr. Ajibola Oluyede, urged Justice Idris to hold that the DSS violated his order by not producing Ubah.

He said the FCT High Court order, which the DSS obtained on May 10, was to frustrate Justice Idris’ order to produce Ubah in court and amounted to a challenge of the court’s majesty.
He accused the DSS of concealing Justice Idris’ order from Justice Haliru who gave the order to detain Ubah.
“The respondent has not shown cause as to why they failed to comply with Your Lordship’s order. Instead, they took steps to subvert the order. They acted in contempt of that order.
“The court in Abuja was not informed about the order to produce him. Their preliminary objection is not relevant to the consideration of whether they have obeyed the order to produce him.

“I urge Your Lordship to consider the dignity of the court as paramount and to order Ubah’s unconditional release,” Oluyede said.
In his ruling, however, Justice Idris held that it would be wrong for him to re-issue his order for Ubah’s production since a court of coordinate jurisdiction in Abuja had issued an order that he should be detained for 14 days.

Justice Idris said his records showed that the DSS was served with the order to produce Ubah on May 10.

“It appears that on the same date, that is May 10, 2017, the fourth and fifth (DSS and its Director-General) respondents obtained from an FCT High Court an order allowing them to detain the first applicant in their custody for an initial period of 14 days pending the completion of the investigation.

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