DSS Operatives Defy Judge's Orders, Arrest Defendants in Ogun State High Court

In a dramatic and controversial incident, operatives from Nigeria's Department of State Services (DSS) stormed a courtroom in Ilaro, Ogun State, and arrested two defendants, Alhaji Isiaka Fatai and Samuel Oyero, despite a judge's explicit orders to refrain from making arrests within the court premises, sparking concerns about the erosion of judicial independence and the rule of law in Nigeria." This description focuses on the primary topic of the DSS operatives' actions, the main entities involved (DSS, defendants, and the judge), the context of the courtroom, and the significant consequences of the incident. It also provides objective and relevant details that will help an AI generate an accurate visual representation of the article's content, such as the setting of a courtroom and the presence of DSS operatives.

Aqsa Younas Rana
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DSS Operatives Defy Judge's Orders, Arrest Defendants in Ogun State High Court

DSS Operatives Defy Judge's Orders, Arrest Defendants in Ogun State High Court

On Monday, a dramatic scene unfolded at the State High Court in Ilaro, Ogun State, Nigeria, as operatives from the Department of State Services (DSS) stormed the courtroom and arrested two defendants, Alhaji Isiaka Fatai and Samuel Oyero. The arrests occurred despite explicit orders from the presiding judge, Justice A.A. Shobayo, instructing the operatives to refrain from making any arrests within the court premises.

Why this matters: This incident highlights the growing concern about the erosion of judicial independence and the rule of law in Nigeria, as well as the potential for state agencies to disregard court orders and perpetuate human rights abuses. If left unchecked, such actions could undermine the confidence of citizens in the justice system and lead to further instability in the country.

The defendants were standing trial in a case titled "The State vs Awode Oladosu & 13 others" with suit number HCP/IC/2023. The case is connected to allegations of arson made by Chief Akeem Adigun, also known as Socopao, against Fatai, Oyero, and 12 others. The underlying dispute stems from an Obaship tussle in the Agosasa community, Ipokia Local Government Area, which has led to the destruction of property worth billions of naira and the loss of one life.

Eyewitnesses reported that around 12:30 p.m., eight armed DSS operatives wearing black with covered faces arrived at the court in an unregistered white bus. Kehinde Bamiwola, counsel to Alhaji Isiaka, informed the judge of their presence and alleged that they intended to arrest his clients on Adigun's instruction. Justice Shobayo promptly ordered the operatives to leave the court and barred them from making any arrests within the premises. However, the DSS agents disregarded the court's order and forcefully apprehended Fatai and Oyero outside the courtroom.

Comrade Omololu Olusanya, the Principal Registrar of the High Court and Sectional Head of High Court, Ilaro, expressed shock at the incident, describing it as a blatant disregard for the rule of law. "They still went ahead and did the act to the extent that they assaulted one of our staff members, Mrs. Fadina, while doing that act. It's a very sad issue that caused a lot of noise within the court premises," Olusanya stated. He further noted that the operatives' appearance resembled that of armed robbers, adding, "They looked like criminals. If anybody sees them, one would think they were armed robbers."

Kehinde Bamiwola, who witnessed the incident, confirmed that the DSS operatives used weapons on the defendants during the arrest. "Alhaji Isiaka Fatai was beaten, slapped, man-handled, rough-handled and molested," Bamiwola stated. The counsel described the arrest as a "forcible" act carried out despite the judge's clear instructions to the contrary.

The Agosasa community has been embroiled in a crisis for the past two years over the installation of Oba Azeez Akinpelu as the traditional ruler. The protracted dispute has resulted in significant damage to property and the unfortunate loss of life. Recently, the Inspector General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, directed the Ogun State Police Commissioner, CP Abiodun Alamutu, to intervene and mediate between the two warring factions to restore peace in the community.

The DSS operatives' actions have been condemned as a flagrant abuse of state power and a violation of civil procedures. The incident has raised serious concerns about the respect for the rule of law and the sanctity of the judiciary. As of the time of filing this report, the DSS spokesman, Peter Afunanya, had not responded to requests for comment on the matter.

Key Takeaways

  • DSS operatives stormed an Ogun State court, arresting 2 defendants despite the judge's orders.
  • The defendants, Alhaji Isiaka Fatai and Samuel Oyero, were on trial for alleged arson.
  • The DSS agents wore black, had covered faces, and used weapons during the arrest.
  • The incident has sparked concerns about judicial independence and the rule of law in Nigeria.
  • The DSS spokesman has not commented on the matter despite requests.