The Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered the release of five worshipers who were detained on July 4 at the Dunamis International Gospel Centre for allegedly wearing t-shirts with provocative slogans.
Ben Manasseh, Anene Udoka, Henry Nwodo, Samuel Larry, and Samuel Gabriel, the applicants, filed separate petitions before the Federal High Court in Abuja.
Justice Anwuli Chikere issued the ruling after their counsel, Mr. Tope Temokun, filed separate ex parte motions on their behalf.
Justice Chikere ordered that the petitioners be released immediately by the DSS.
They had filed a lawsuit against the DSS, President Muhammadu Buhari, the church’s pastor-in-charge, Pastor Paul Enenche, and others for claiming wrongful detention and imprisonment.
The plaintiffs, who requested the court to declare their arrest and detention illegal, also asked for N10 million in damages for the infringement of their fundamental rights.
The suits are 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.
Temokun claimed in separate lawsuits that his clients possessed fundamental rights to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion, freedom of expression and the press, freedom from discrimination, and personal liberty.
According to him, these rights are protected by Sections 35, 38, 39, and 42 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), as well as Articles 1, 2, 6, 8, and 9 of the African Charter on the Ratification and Enforcement of Human and People’s Rights.
Other defendants include Mr. Yusuf Bichi, Director-General of the DSS, and Mr. Abubakar Malami, Attorney-General of the Federation (SAN).
The case has been postponed until Aug. 2 for a hearing.