The Director General Media and Publicity of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Campaign Council in Kaduna State, Mr. Ben Bako, has sued the Department of State Security (DSS), for infringing on his human rights, by detaining him unlawfully without trail and denying him access to his lawyers.
The case which was brought before Federal High Court II sitting in Kaduna, on Wednesday suffered setback as the presiding judge, Justice Peter Manloung gave a transfer order on the case to a High Court in Abuja.
Mr. Bako was arrested by operatives of the DSS in Kaduna for allegedly inciting the public at a rally in Kafanchan, Kaduna State and has been in detention in one of the organisation’s facility in Abuja since then for 25 days.
The applicant, Mr. Bako, who was represented by Barrister Baba Lawal Aliyu and former Attorney General of Kaduna State, Barrister Mark Jacob applied on behalf of their clients to be released on bail for the enforcement of his fundamental human rights pending when hearing on the matter would commence.
The counsel sought an order enforcing the applicant’s fundamental Human Rights as guaranteed by section 34,35 and 36 of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), Order 2 of the Fundamental Rights(enforcement procedure)rules 2009, Article 3,4,5 and 6 African Charter on human and peoples Rights for same being breached by the Respondents.
It also sought an Order releasing the Applicant on bail pending his arraignment before a court of competent jurisdiction and such further order as may be deemed fit by the court.
As the arguments on the bail application commenced, counsel to the DSS opposed the bail application saying his reply was supported by a sworn affidavit which highlighted the offense allegedly committed by the applicant bordering on national security and added that Mr Bako is being detained in order to avert a breakdown of law and order.
The DSS also made it clear that it had filed an exparte application on the matter at another federal High Court in Abuja.
The Presiding Judge, Justice Peter Manloung observed that since the matter is before a court of competent jurisdiction in Abuja, he may not want to continue with it saying all he could do was to transfer the bail application to Abuja for reassignment by the Chief justice of Nigeria (CJN).
Counsel to Bako then pleaded that since the Judge became aware of the ex-parte application in Abuja, just on Wednesday, that the transfer order should go with an order directing the DSS to allow the counsels access to their client who was in their custody.
But the judge who said the best he could do in the circumstance was to only grant the transfer order, said every other applications could be directed accordingly.
Addressing journalists on the matter, Mark Jacob, said, it is unfortunate that a Nigerian citizen has been kept in custody for 25 days without trial and without any recourse or order from the court.
“We are going to take steps to challenge that properly. As I speak to you, the lawyers, the family has been denied access to him and this is strange and very unbecoming.
“We will go back to the court in Abuja where DSS said they have filed the ex-parte order, it is not a secret case. The DSS has not yet brought charges, all they did was to file an ex-parte application saying that he made inciting comment.
“Those are things anybody can say, by the time they arraign him we would have an idea of the charges. But the basic thing is that, they said he made an inflammatory statement that is capable of inciting the public.” He explained.