Justice Anwuli Chikere of the Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered the Department of State Service (DSS) to free Ntari Hassan Danladi, a Jalingo-based businessman who has been detained for more than six months.
The security agency is claimed to have seized the businessman because of his purported ties to the banned Indigenous People of Biafra IPOB.
Danladi was allegedly detained on or around May 6, 2021, and has remained in the custody of the DSS without any complaint or charge filed by the federal government.
Justice Chikere issued the order for his release while ruling on a move on notice brought on behalf of Danladi by Pius Danba Pius (FHC/ABJ/CS/450/2021).
Justice Chikere observed in an interim order acquired by judiciary correspondents on Thursday that the order to detain Danladi was issued on June 24, 2021, and that the order would expire after ninety (90) days.
“There has been no application by the State Security Service for extension of the custody order since the ninety (90) days detention order expired on the 22nd day of September 2021,” the court said.
“The 1st Respondent/Applicant is to be released from the custody of the State Security Service immediately because the order of detention has expired and there has been no renewal.” Anwuli, the Chief Justice, issued an order.
The motion on notice dated 18th November 2021, and filed on November, 19, had prayed the court for an order directing the Respondent (SSS) to produce the applicant (Danladi) in court immediately and show cause why he should not be released unconditionally having been detained for more than 6 months without a criminal charge preferred against him.
Meanwhile, briefing judiciary reporters, counsel to the detainee, Mr Pius Danba Pius said Danladi is being unlawfully incarcerated in the detention facility of the DSS for allegedly having links with the outlawed Indigenous People s of Biafra.
He said Danladi was arrested in Jalingo by operatives of DSS, and since then, no charge has been preferred against him.
“We have obtained an order of the court for Ntari Hassan Danladi to be released immediately by the SSS.
“The order made on November 29, 2021, by Justice Anwuli Chikere has been served on the SSS through the Court’s bailiff.
“As at the time of this briefing, the SSS has refused to release our client, an action that is a flagrant disobedience to a valid order of court” Pius stated.
He called on the SSS to as a matter of urgency, respect and obey the order of a court of competent jurisdiction to release his client unconditionally.