Posted by Pamela Eboh, Awka | 9 March 2016 | 2,301 times
An Anambra State High Court presided over by Justice R.O Onunkwo has ordered the Department of Security Service (DSS) to appear before it on March 10, 2016 to defend itself over the alleged brutal attack on Chief Ifeanyichukwu Nwokoye, the former Anambra State Campaign Coordinator of President Muhammadu Buhari.
In April last year, Nwokoye and his wife, Jessica, were allegedly assaulted by the men of the DSS right inside the premises of his hotel in Amawbia, Awka South Local Government Area of the state. His offence was his alleged refusal to release information about 22 expatriate medical doctors invited by the Anambra State Government for free medical mission in the state who were, at the time of the incident, accommodated in his hotel. The assault affected Nwokoye’s sight.
After his short stay in the hospital, he dragged the security operatives to court for infringing on his fundamental human rights.
In his words, “I was handcuffed with my wife like common criminals. I have never seen such a thing in my life. The retina of my eyes has been damaged and I was humiliated for no offence committed.”
When the matter came up Monday, for hearing, counsel to DSS, Mr. S.T Oneh, sought the leave of the court to discontinue with the matter.
He said: “I used to appear for the respondents (DSS) in this matter, but the respondents have disengaged my professional service. I hereby notify the court that I no longer represent them.”
He tendered a letter disengaging his services by the DSS to the court, arguing that he would not want to force himself on the security outfit.
On his part, Counsel to Nwokoye, Professor Ilochi Okafor, SAN, insisted that he would continue with the matter despite the withdrawal of the respondents’ counsel.
He condemned in totality what he described as impunity of the DSS by disengaging its lawyer on the matter without formally notifying the court.
Okafor further narrated a recent attack on a lawyer in his chambers by a certain security operative in the state, saying that such impunity must be stopped.
Not satisfied with the respondents’ counsel’s submission, Justice Onunkwo demanded more explanations on why a fundamental right of this type should not be pursued with the diligence it deserved.
After weighing the matter, Justice Onunkwo said for the sake of fair hearing, he would allow the DSS more time to defend its action on the matter and compelled it to appear before him in the next adjourned date of Thursday, March 10.
•Photo shows DSS Acting DG, Lawal Daura.
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