Ogbonna: Court grants lawyer N40m bail from DSS custody

An FCT High Court has granted bail application by Abia State lawyer, Emperor Ogbonna, who is alleged to be held illegally in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS).

Justice Josephine Aninih ordered the lawyer to be released in the sum of N20 million bail bond and two sureties in like sum each.

The judge also ordered that one of the sureties must be a civil servant of not lower than grade level 14.

The order following a fundamental rights enforcement application made by his lawyer, Onyekachi Ubani Esq.

Ogbonna was arrested and detained in Abuja since April 28 for posting on social media about an alleged secret oath between Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, his predecessor, Theodore Orji and his son Chinedu.

Ogbonna’s lawyer is contending that the arrest and detention are “illegal, unlawful, wrongful, unconstitutional and constitutes a violation of the applicant’s fundamental right as enshrined in Section 34 (1) (A) of the Constitution of Nigeria, 1999, as altered, and Articles 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 9 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act Cap A9 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.”

Ubani also wants the court to compel the Abia State government and the DSS to pay Ogbonna the sum of N500 million in general and exemplary damages for the wanton and grave violation of his fundamental rights, without following the due process of law.

The lawyer also wants the court to make an order, “Directing the respondents to publish in three notable national newspapers, an unreserved apology to the applicant, for the brazen breach of his fundamental rights without following the due process of law.”

A Federal High Court in Umuahia had on July 2 ordered the release of the lawyer and payment of the sum of N5 million in damages which were not complied with.