Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court, Abuja, on Friday lambasted the Department of State Security, DSS, for fragrant disregard for a court order that an accused person be remanded in prison.
Justice Dimgba had on Thursday ruled that Umar Mohammed, a retired Air Commodore, who was arraigned before him, be remanded in Kuje Prison pending the hearing of his bail application.
But according to the Counsel to the accused person, Hassan Liman, the DSS whisked his client away to their headquarters immediately after the court proceedings ended on Thursday.
When hearing resumed on Friday, the DSS did not produce the suspect in court as his counsel argued his bail application.
But the prosecuting counsel explained that the defendant was taken to the DSS office for some documentation.
Dimgba was visibly angry with the action of the DSS, describing it as an embarrassment to democracy.
“I take a strong exception to this type of behaviour; when the court orders that someone be kept in prison custody, the person ought to be kept in prison and not in the office,” the Judge said.
“If the people at the DSS want to become judges and do their job as well, I am ready to vacate my office for them, but as long as I am still here, I take an exception to them flouting the orders of the court.
“Once processes have been filed in court, it is no longer in their hands and the order of the court must be obeyed,’’ Dimgba warned.
He asked the prosecuting counsel, E.A Orji, to inform the office of the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice of the development.
The accused person, a member of the presidential team investigating the arms deal in the country, was charged with money laundering, possession of fire arms and violation of provision of Official Secret Act.