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Lawyers Protest DSS’ Refusal To Obey Court Orders

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A huge number of protesters, made up of mainly lawyers,  took to major streets in the Federal Capital Territory, to protest the alleged continued disobedience of court orders by the Department of State Security, DSS.

The lawyers, who were joined by members of civil society organisations, took their protest to the Headquarters of the Federal High Court, in Maitama, as well as the offices of the Attorney General of the Federation and the National Human Rights Commission, NHRC.

They then made their way to the Three Arms Zone, where the Aso Rock presidential villa, the Supreme Court and the National Assembly are situated.

With regards to the issue of corruption allegations by the DSS against some judges, the protesting lawyers say the judges should not step down from cases involving the DSS, arguing that doing so would mean that they  have bowed to intimidation.

The protesters also want all judiciary workers to initiate an industrial action until the DSS obeys all pending judgments.

Witnesses say major roads in the Abuja city centre were barricaded as the protesters were being prevented by security agents from entering the villa.

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The DSS has been accused of blatant disregard for court judgments and on more than one occasions, there had been instances where Judges had to lash-out on the Service for disobedience to court rulings.

On July 22, Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court, Abuja, criticized the DSS for flouting an order of the court to remand a defendant in prison.

Dimgba had ordered that retired Air Commodore Umar Mohammed, who was arraigned before him the previous day, be remanded in Kuje Prison pending the hearing of his bail application, but the DSS instead kept the suspect in its custody and failed to produce him in court on the day of the hearing for his bail application.

Dimgba said that he took strong exception to the service’s disregard for the court’s order by keeping a defendant in its custody, describing it as an embarrassment to democracy.

On another date, August 9, when an application was brought before Justice Dimgba by the DSS, the judge refused to grant it.

“The court will not grant any application of the DSS until there is sufficient proof that all orders of the court have been obeyed,” Dimgba said.

“It will be counter-productive for the court to take this application and grant the reliefs sought by the DSS.

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“This court hereby adjourns this application sine die until the applicant’s counsel files an affidavit deposing to the fact that all outstanding orders of this court on the DSS have been complied with,” the judge added.

Also the DSS had on more than one occasion refused to adhere to court rulings, granting bail to the former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, as well as the leader of the pro-Biafra group, Nnamdi Kanu.

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