DSS Unconditionally Releases Independent Bureau Chief, Tony Ezimakor After Public Outcry


Tony Ezimakor

The Department of State Services (DSS) about 10:30p.m on Tuesday released detained Tony Ezimakor, the Abuja Bureau Chief of Independent Newspapers.
Ezimakor was arrested on Wednesday, last week, by DSS over a publication on the payment of about $2 million ransom to Boko Haram for the release of 82 abducted Chibok girls and how it has turned into a business venture.

Apparently embarrassed by the publication, the DSS invited and detained Ezimakor after harassing staff of Independent Newspapers at the Lagos office.

The DSS had insisted that he disclose sources of his information as a condition for his release. But Independent Newspapers had asked the DSS to go to court if it felt aggrieved with the publication.

On Friday, operatives of the agency stormed his residence and took away his laptop, personal and official documents, among other things, after turning his flat at Tundun Wada Extension of the Federal Housing, Lugbe, Abuja, inside out.

“The detention of the Bureau Chief is barbaric, unconstitutional, wicked and an act of impunity of the highest order,” Ejiofor said.

“The constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, as amended, never permits anybody to detain a Nigerian for more than 48 hours.

“The detention of Mr. Ezimakor for more than 48 hours without an order of court is in clear violation of the provision of the constitution,” the legal practitioner stated.

Similarly, Kayode Ajulo, another renowned constitutional lawyer, condemned the act.

He said: “The law is so clear, you do not have to detain any Nigerian for more than 48 hours.

“If you have a case against anybody, you have the right to file a charge against the person, and not to put the person in custody indefinitely.

“It is better to go to court to secure an order, and if the DSS flouts it, then it becomes contemptuous.”

The human rights lawyer insisted it was wrong to detain Ezimakor without charging him to court.

“The DSS is a creation of the constitution and other laws. DSS is subject to Nigeria’s constitution and must obey the laws of the land,” he stressed.

Daily Independent