The Department of State Security Service (DSS) on Friday refused an order of a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos to produce Dr. Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah in court.
The court had on May 9, following an ex-parte application filed and argued by Ubah’s lawyer, Mrs. Ifeoma Esom, instructed the DSS and its director-general to produce Ubah in court this Friday or show cause why he should not be produced.
But when the case came up, Ubah was nowhere near the court, a situation that led his lawyer, Mr Ajibola Oluyede, to ask the court to order immediate release of his client, Ubah, due to flagrant disobedience of the order of the court made on May 8, 2017.
However, the prayer by Ubah’s lawyer was declined by the presiding judge, Justice Muhammed Idris.
Oluyede argued that the DSS utilised what he described as ‘abuse of court and power and said that the action of the security operative amounted to disobedience of the court order and subversion to the authority and dignity of the court.
Peter Okerinmade, counsel to DSS and its director general, contended that the court should sack the submissions made by Ubah’s legal team on the ground that the DSS had filed an application before the court challenging the court’s jurisdiction to entertain Ubah’s application.
The presiding judge in his submission described the scenario as sad and unfortunate.
He said, “On May 9, 2017, upon hearing the applicant’s ex-parte application, the court directed the fourth and fifth applicants to produce the applicant in court today. From the record of the court, it shows that the ruling was served on the respondents on May 10, 2015, by 10 am.
“It was also shown that the respondents on the same day obtained an order remanding the applicant from my learned brother Halilu J of FCT High Court. It’s clear that there is a direct conflict between the order of this court and of my learned brother Halilu J of FCT High Court.
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“Courts of the same jurisdiction have been cautioned on a matter like this. I will in the circumstance of this case act with great caution. I will not make any order that will have effect of neutralising the effect of the order made by the High Court of FCT.
“In line with the order made on May 10, 2017, I will not make an order to produce the applicant since parties in the case have been served and matter adjourned till May 18, 2017, I shall adjourn till May 18, 2017, when all applications and Notice of Preliminary Objection shall be heard.
“The matter is hereby adjourned till May 18, 2017”.
Meanwhile, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Lagos State chapter, on Friday condemned DSS over what it tagged illegal arrest and detention of the chairman of Capital Oil and Gas Industries Limited, Ubah, since May 5, 2017.
Ohanaeze’s Lagos chairman, Barr. Fabian Onwughalu, called on all Igbo sons and daughters within and across Lagos State, to storm the court in their numbers on Thursday, May 18, 2017, in support of their Grand Patron, when the court sits again on the matter.
“By the grace of God Almighty, I am urging all our people, Ndigbo in Lagos State, to come enmasse on May 18, and observe the resumed hearing. It is good we are here. Some of us who are here should take the message to all nooks and cranny of Igboland that Chief (Dr.) Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah is not a criminal. He is a decent Nigerian doing a decent business,” he said.
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