*Refuses to release detained lawmaker five days after
Photo: Governor Fayose during the Joint Committee of National Assembly visit in Ekiti
The Department of State Services (DSS) has refused to accept the service of the Federal High Court, Ado-Ekiti order for the immediate release of the detained member of the Ekiti State House of Assembly, representing Efon Local Government Area of Ekiti State, Honourable Afolabi Akani.
Hon Akanni was whisked away on March 4, during the alleged invasion of the state’s House of Assembly by men of the DSS and has since then been held incommunicado.
The Federal High Court, Ado Ekiti on March 11 o for his immediate release.
It will be recalled that Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Federal High Court, Ado Ekiti on March 11, while delivering the ruling in suit number FHC/AD/CS/8/16 filed on behalf of Hon. Akanni by his counsel, Obafemi Adewale said the DSS did not meet all the provisions of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
Justice Taiwo said the court heard the application urgently because of the life and liberty of a citizen was at stake.
Agreeing with the applicant that the enforcement of fundamental human rights is a case of urgency, which should be treated expeditiously, citing the cases of Beko Ransome Kuti Vs SSS and Tunji Abayomi Vs SSS to justify his stand, the Judge ordered the DSS to release the lawmaker with immediate effect or produce him in court in the alternative and show evidence why he would be in protective custody as the case instituted by the applicant proceeds.
As at today, March 15, the DSS has yet to accept to be served with the court order.
Hon Akanni’s counsel, Barrister Obafemi Adewale who confirmed that the lawmaker was yet to be released, added that the DSS officials at Ado Ekiti refused to allow him entry into their office when he went to serve the office a copy of the court’s order for his immediate release.
He described the refusal of court order by the organisation in Ekiti State as uncalled for, saying: “When the bailiff brought the High court order to the DSS office over the unlawful detention of Mr. Afolabi, the officials refused him entry and said they were acting under instruction from above.
“Meanwhile, the High court had ordered them (DSS) to release my client since March 11, but up till now they refuse to even collect the court order. The DSS action in this respect is as a reminder of the military era and affront on human rights. We will have to file an application on the matter before the High court,” he said.
A copy of an affidavit of non-service sworn by the bailiff at the Court on the matter, which was made available by the lawyer, reads in part: “I, Araromi Ademola, male, Christian, Yoruba, Nigerian citizen and a bailiff of Federal High Court, Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State, do hereby declare on oath and stated as follows:
(1) That on the 14th March, 2016, I was given an order, warrant to bring up prisoner and motion on notice document by the court.
(2) That the document should be served on the respondents.
(3) That on 14th March, 2016, I went to the said office at the State Security Service, Ekiti State Command, New Iyin Road, Ado Ekiti.
(4) That the security officers at the gate restricted my movement into their office.
(5) That they have been given standing order from their head office not to receive any document.
(6) That I dropped the document in their presence at the gate and they forced me to pick it or else they will disgrace me.
(7) That every effort made to effect service on the respondent proved abortive.
(8) That I swear to this affidavit in good faith believing same to be true and correct in accordance to statutory declaration of the Oaths Act of LFN 2004.”