Femi Falana, a senior advocate of Nigeria, says that the Department of State Security Service (DSS), has violated the human rights of Babatunde Gbadamosi by detaining him for over a week.
A statement signed by Falana said that the chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party was detained by the DSS after he honoured the agency’s invitation in Lagos on Wednesday, February 22.
He called on Abubakar Malami, attorney-general of the federation and minister of justice, to restrain the DSS and other law-enforcement agencies from infringing on human rights of Nigerians.
“Babatunde Olalere Gbadamosi, a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party was invited to the Lagos office of the State Security Service on Wednesday last week. As a law abiding citizen he honoured the invitation,” he said.
“Although he was not accused of committing any criminal offence or security breach he was arrested and taken to Abuja for interrogation. Since then, he has been denied access to his family and lawyers by the SSS. By holding him incommunicado the SSS has violated the fundamental rights of the detainee to personal liberty and fair hearing.
“Having regard to the facts and circumstances of his arrest, I am compelled to demand for his immediate and unconditional release from the unlawful custody of the SS. In the alternative, the SSS should charge him to court forthwith if there is evidence that he has committed any criminal offence known to law.”
The lawyer said that even during the military government, arrests and detention of citizens were justified.
“Even under the defunct military junta the arrest and detention of political detainees and economic saboteurs were justified by the military dictators under preventive detention decrees. Notwithstsnding that the obnoxious decrees have been repealed the SSS has continued to breach the fundamental rights of the Nigerian people in utter breach of the relevant provisions of the Constitution which have guaranteed them.
“Once again, I urge the attorney-general of the federation and minister of justice, Abubakar Malami SAN, to restrain the SSS and other law enforcement agencies from infringing on the fundamental rights of the Nigerian people.
“In particular, the attention of police, anti graft and security agencies ought to be drawn to the combined effect of section 35 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and section 6 of the administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015 which have prohibited the arrest and detention of any person in Nigeria without due process.”
Source: The Cable