Angry judge says SSS’ conduct “disgrace to democracy”

Angry judge says SSS’ conduct “disgrace to democracy”
July 22 21:48 2016

Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the
Federal High Court, Abuja, on
Friday berated the Department of
State Security (DSS) for flouting an
order of the court to remand a
defendant in prison.
Dimgba had ordered that a
retired Air Commodore, Umar
Mohammed, who was arraigned
before him on Thursday, be
remanded in Kuje Prison pending
 the hearing of his bail application.

But the SSS failed to produce him
in court on Friday while his
counsel argued his bail
application.
Dimgba said he took strong
exception to the service’s
disregard of the court’s order by
keeping the defendant in its
custody, describing it as an
embarrassment to democracy.
“I take a strong exception to this
type of behaviour; when the court
orders that someone be kept in
prison custody, the person ought
to be kept in prison and not in the
office.

“If the people at the DSS want to
become judge and do their job as
well, I am ready to vacate my
office for them, but as long as I
am still here, I take an exception
to them flouting the orders of the
court.
“Once processes have been filed
in court, it is no longer in their
hands and the order of the court
must be obeyed,’’ Mr. Dimgba
said.
He asked the prosecuting counsel,
E.A Orji, to convey the grievances
of the court to the Attorney-
General and Minister of Justice.

The judge adjourned ruling on the bail
application until 2 p.m.
Counsel to Mohammed, Hassan Liman,
had told the court that the SSS whisked
Mohammed away immediately after the court
proceedings ended on Thursday.
But the prosecuting counsel explained that the
defendant was taken to the SSS office for some
documentation.
Mohammed is charged with money
laundering, possession of fire arms and
violation of provision of Official Secret Act.
The defendant is a retired Air Force officer
and was a member of the presidential team
investigating the arms deal in the country.

(NAN)