A Federal High Court sitting in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state has ordered the immediate release of Bright Chimezie, a member of the Indigenous People of Biafra arrested and detained by the Department of State Service (DSS).
The court also ruled that the DSS pay a compensation fine of N5 million to the detained IPOB member.
On Wednesday, May 24, Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu while ruling on a fundamental human rights suit filed by Ifeanyi Ejiofor, counsel to Chimezie, said the DSS must within 48 hours release the IPOB member who was arrested on October 14, 2016, by the DSS.
The suit against the DSS was ruled on by the court after Ejiofor moved his substantive application and his extensive oral argument on law.
The judge also declared illegal and unconstitutional the prolonged detention of Chimezie by the secret police.
Justice Ojukwu said Chimezie detention is a gross violation of his constitutionally guaranteed rights to freedom of liberty, dignity and human person.
The judge also ordered the DSS to pay the sum of N5 million to Bright Chimezie as compensation for the gross violation of his fundamental rights.
Speaking earlier on the court’s ruling, Chimezie’s lawyer ifeanyi Ejiofor said the secret police have no option than to abide by the court’s order.
Ejiofor said: “The State Security Service has no other option other than to comply strictly with the order made this morning by my noble Lord.”
The era of flagrant disobedience to court order has gone, I shall initiate contempt proceedings against the director general of the SSS in the unlikely event that they fail to obey this order by releasing my client at the expiration of 48 hours from today. They have been duly served this afternoon with the order made by this court.
It is also reasonably expected that they do the needful by forwarding to me a draft of N5 million payable to my client upon his release within the next 48 hours.
This money will be used in treating our client in a first class hospital of his choice having been battered and balkanized by officials of the SSS during the long period of his incarceration in their custody,” Ejiofor added.
Voice of Ndigbo had reported how the leader of the IPOB Nnamdi Kanu was released from Kuje Prison after Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court in Abuja granted him bail.
The IPOB leader since his release has been receiving many visitors including former governors who paid courtesy visits to him in his hometown in Isiama Afara Umuahia in Abia state.
Also, today, May 24, Kanu visited Aba, the commercial city in Abia state and the South-South region of Nigeria where he met with Niger Activist Ann-Kio Briggs.