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Just In: Five anti-Buhari activists regain freedom after weeks in detention

By Monsurudeen Olowoopejo

The five worshippers held by the Department of State Services, (DSS) for demonstrating against President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration at Dunamis International Gospel Centre in Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja, have regained freedom, just as they cleared the air on activities surrounding their arrest last month.

They argued that their arrest was allegedly facilitated by the General Overseer of Dunamis, Paul Enenche, and that he instructed the law enforcement officers not to release them, contrary to claims made by the cleric.

The anti-Buhari activists include Ben Manasseh, Anene Udoka, Henry Nwodo, Samuel Larry, and Samuel Gabriel, and they were arrested for wearing the t-shirts to a Sunday Service at Dunamis International in Ligbe, Abuja last month.

They regained freedom on Tuesday, one week,  after Federal High Court in Abuja ordered that DSS should release the five worshipers that were detained on July 4th for wearing t-shirts with “Buhari Must Go” on them.

In the video monitored by The Guild, the five activists narrated how they were maltreated by the law enforcement agency particularly the food they were served in the last one months while under DSS custody.

The five activists, who were seen at the home of a former presidential candidate, Omoyele Sowore, alleged that Enenche, after realising that they wore the T-shirt within his church premises, requested the Nigerian Police to effect the arrest but they turned it down considering the allegations levelled against them.

They noted that after the effort could not work, the cleric and his aides allegedly signalled to a director of DSS who was attending the church service to assist in effecting the arrest.

According to them, it was at this time that the DSS arrived and we were picked as well as beaten while in custody with the leader of proscribed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, and others still held.

Before their release, Justice Anwuli Chikere of the Federal High Court in Abuja, had ordered that they be allowed to return home following separate ex parte applications filed on their behalf by their lawyer, Mr Tope Temokun.

They had sued the DSS, President Muhammadu Buhari, the church’s pastor, Enenche and others for alleged unlawful arrest and detention and they prayed the court to declare their arrest and detention unlawful, also asked the court to award N10 million, each, in damages, for the violation of their fundamental rights.

Temokun had argued in separate suits that his clients were entitled to the fundamental rights to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, right to freedom of expression and the press, right to freedom from discrimination and right to personal liberty.

According to him, the rights are guaranteed under Sections 35, 38, 39 and 42 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and under Articles 1, 2, 6, 8 and 9 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights Ratification and Enforcement.

Other defendants include the Director-General of the DSS, Mr Yusuf Bichi and the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami.


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