Falana writes NHRC, seeks release of rice trader ‘illegally’ detained by DSS
Popular lawyer and activist, Femi Falana has forwarded a petition to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) seeking the release of a trader, Abiodun Ilesanmi who was arrested by the Department of State Services (DSS).
In a letter dated May 4 where Ilesanmi’s ordeal was narrated, a lawyer from Falana’s chambers identified as Musa Abu said at about 2am on April 2, a team of armed DSS officers broke into Ilesanmi’s house at Alapera/Ogundu estate, Lagos state.
“A few hours later, our client was later taken to his shop at Mile 12 Commodity Market by the armed officers of the SSS which was searched without a search warrant. Even though nothing incriminating was found, the officers took away 2 bags of rice.
“Notwithstanding that our client has not committed any criminal offence known to law, he has remained in the custody of the SSS since the 2nd of April, 2021 without any remand order.”
Narrating further, the lawyer said an application was written to the DSS for the release of his client.
“In response to our application for the release of our client the SSS told us to produce a surety who must be a senator or a minister,” Abu said.
“Apart from the fact that our client has not committed any offence to warrant the production of a surety, he is not in a position to find a senator or minister to stand surety for him.
“Assuming without conceding that our client committed an “offence” for being in possession of 2 bags of rice has nothing to do with the security of the federal republic of Nigeria. To that extent, the case file ought to have been transferred to the Nigeria Customs Service or to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for investigation and possible prosecution if it established that our client committed any offence.
“Having regard to the facts and circumstances of this case you will agree with us that our client’s fundamental rights to personal liberty and dignity of human person as guaranteed sections 34 and 35 of the Constitution and Articles 5 and 6 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Right (Enforcement and Ratification) Act have been violated by the SSS without any legal justification whatsoever.
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