Court orders DSS to release #BuhariMustGo protesters arrested at Dunamis church

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The federal high court sitting in Abuja has ordered the Department of State Services (DSS) to release the five protesters who were arrested at Dunamis International Gospel Centre for allegedly wearing #BuhariMustGo t-shirts.

The applicants, Ben Manasseh, Anene Udoka, Henry Nwodo, Emmanuel Larry, and Samuel Gabriel Iwatonaiye, filed their separate suits at the Federal High Court, Abuja.

The DSS had arrested the protesters on July 4 at the church premises in Abuja for allegedly wearing #BuhariMustGo branded shirts.

On Monday, July 26, Justice Anwuli Chikere ordered that the SSS should release the applicants following separate ex parte applications filed on their behalf by their lawyer, Tope Temokun.

They had sued the SSS, President Muhammadu Buhari, the church’s pastor-in-charge, Pastor Paul Enenche, and others for alleged unlawful arrest and detention.

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The plaintiffs, who urged 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.

Mr. Temokun had argued in separate suits that his clients were entitled to the fundamental right 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.

In the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/631/2021, FHC/ABJ/CS/636/2021, FHC/ABJ/CS/637/2021, FHC/ABJ/CS/638/2021, and FHC/ABJ/CS/639/2021 respectively, Temokun argued that the arrest of his clients is a violation of 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.

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The judge, in his ruling, ordered that the DSS should release the applicants with immediate effect.

The court adjourned till August 2 for trial.

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