…for making comments on social media

… DSS trailing suspect for two years before arrest on road

…  Suspect now having ear problem, ulcer, skin diseases due to torture, neglect alleged activist

Juliana Francis

Operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) have been accused of holding a businessman, Mr. Emeka Richmond Ngornadi, a businessman since April 2021, for allegedly making comments on social media in support of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

Emeka, who hails from Imo State, was arrested in Ore while traveling from Lagos to Anambra State by DSS operatives who were said to have been trailing him for two years.

This is not the first time that operatives of the DSS would be accused of arresting and detaining people indefinitely for making comments on social media.

According to the Nigerian Constitution, Nigerians have rights to freedom of expression and the right to a fair trial in a court of competent jurisdiction. On both accounts of the laws, DSS appears to have infringed upon the fundamental rights of  Ngornadi.

Paul Bem Manasseh, who shared the plight of the businessman, explained thus: “Emeka was traveling from Lagos State to Anambra State to deliver baby items and goods he had bought for his pregnant wife who had earlier called to inform him that her Estimated Delivery Date (EED) was close. The wife eventually gave birth in June but lost the baby, allegedly due to psychological trauma over the arrest of her husband. They also said they went through his call logs and discovered that he discussed with somebody about bulletproof (jacket). But he denied the allegation and even told them to go and check the call logs of the person or go to the MTN office and verify.

“He said the person that called him was complaining about the way soldiers were killing people on a daily basis in the east and that he needed spiritual protection if he (Emeka) could assist him to get it for him and his family. Emeka said he was a Christian and could not do such. The DSS accused him of being an IPOB member for openly expressing support for Biafra agitators and condemning security agents for the killing of innocent citizens in the Eastern region of the country.

“Emeka was first detained in Lagos and tortured before he was transferred to Abuja DSS Prison, cell 2, where I met him. Emeka was having ear problems, ulcers, and skin diseases due to torture and neglect by the DSS officials. Emeka was not given any medical attention and he was threatened to be killed if anyone outside finds out or breaks the news that he was in detention.

“Barrister Festus Ogun filed a suit at the Federal High Court Maitama Abuja demanding for the unconditional release of Emeka, the DSS accepted he’s in their custody but transferred Emeka to Wawa Barracks, a high maximum prison in Niger State.”

Manasseh further explained Barrister Nnemeke Ijeofor also sued the Nigeria Army who denied Emeka was not in their custody but accepted working together with the DSS to enhance National security.

He stated that Justice Maha of Federal High Court Maitama Abuja Court 8, who pronounced judgement to be delivered on 29th September 2022 even if the DSS did not show up, more also the DSS after their first appearance they never showed up in court again.

“On that said date for judgment the court headed by Justice Maha refused to give judgment with no reasons and without even giving another date for judgment. The judiciary should be the hope of the common man who has become a slaughterhouse for the oppressed. We call on all justice-loving citizens to rise in unity against the illegal detention of Emeka Ngornadi. Justice Maha shouldn’t be allowed to enforce the tyranny of the executive through the connivance of the judiciary by refusing to give judgement to ensure his unconditional release.”

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