Angry Lawyers Speak Against DSS’ Impunity In Flouting Court Orders
The court had on Tuesday, May 9, issued an order to the Department of State Services (DSS) that Mr Ifeanyi Uba should be brought to court on Friday, but that never happened.
Counsels to Mr Uba and the DSS had come to the Federal High Court in Lagos on Friday for hearing, but were shocked that the DSS were not in court with the accused.
After they presented their cases to Justice Muhammed Idris, the court adjourned the case till May 18, a decision one of the lawyers described as toeing the line of caution. A court in Abuja had issued another order subverting that of the court kin Lagos.
Nerves were frayed, as lawyers to Mr Uba expressed anger over what they called an attempt by the DSS to frustrate the order of the Federal High Court in Lagos.
Members of a group, 'Ohaneze Ndi Igbo', was at the court to show solidarity with the accused and the President General of the group in Lagos, claimed that the authorities were trying to present Mr Uba as a common criminal.
"It is a matter of business and contractual agreement that went sore which is supposed to be resolved as a civil matter.
"Ifeanyi Uba is not a criminal, but a patriotic and decent Nigerian doing a decent business.
"There was a time that Mr Ifeanyi Uba released fuel to cushion the effect of a strike by union that has caused scarcity of fuel at the beginning of this administration.
"How can you accuse the same person of subversive activities?" he questioned.
A court in Abuja had allegedly issued an order that had subverted the order of the judge in Lagos, a situation that the lead counsel to Mr Uba, Mr Joseph Nwobike, said was erroneous.
He believes that the DSS had obtained a counter-order from the Abuja judge surreptitiously, pretending that nothing else was going on on the issue.
The lawyers said they would apply to the Abuja judge to vacate the subversive order.
Mr Ifeanyi Uba is accused of "economic sabotage" and was arrested and detained on Friday by officials of the DSS in connection with missing petroleum products worth over 11 billion Naira.