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

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

Justice Anwuli Chikere of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja gave the order the release of the protesters – Ben Manasseh, Anene Udoka, Henry Nwodo, Emmanuel Larry, and Samuel Gabriel Iwatonaiye following separate ex parte applications filed on their behalf by their lawyer, Tope Temokun.

WITHIN NIGERIA recalls that the DSS operative had arrested the five protesters on July 4 at the church premises in Abuja for allegedly wearing #BuhariMustGo branded shirts.

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

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.

The judge, in his ruling, ordered that the DSS should release the applicants with immediate effect while adjourned till August 2 for trial.

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