Anger and moral indignation swelled further yesterday over the continued detention of businessman, Dr Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah, by the security services.
The leadership of the pan-Igbo socio-cultural group, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo (Worldwide), waded into the fray and asked the Federal Government to call to order the Department of State Services (DSS).
The youth wing of Ohanaeze has also begun the mobilisation of 100 lawyers to press for Ubah’s release without further delay.
The group said that it has begun preparations to storm the Federal High Court on May 18, 2017, slated for the hearing of the case.
In a reaction on Monday to the DSS refusal to free Ubah or obey the order of the court, the President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Dr. John Nnia Nwodo, condemned the continued detention of Ubah.
Nwodo said that Ohanaeze was disturbed by the DSS defiance of the court order to produce Ubah in court last Friday.
Ohanaeze described the action of the security agency as a violation of Dr. Ubah’s fundamental human rights, adding that it amounted to impunity on the side of the DSS.
He urged the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Mr. Abubakar Malami, to call the DSS to order.
Nwodo, speaking for the apex Igbo organization, said that what transpired between Dr Ubah, the Chairman of Capital Oil and Gas Industries Ltd., and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), was a mere unsettled business transaction with claims by both parties.
He stressed that Ubah’s claims have not been proved to be wrong by the NNPC.
Nwodo said: “Ohaneze Ndigbo insists that the refusal to respect a court order is unconstitutional and strikes at the very foundation of our legal system. It breeds impunity. No reasonable government will condone this.”
“The Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) must call the DSS to order. Ifeanyi Ubah must be presumed innocent until proven guilty”.
Justice Mohammed Idris of the Federal High Court, Lagos, had on Tuesday, May 9, 2017 ordered the DSS to produce Ubah in court last Friday and to explain why he should not be released unconditionally. The DSS is yet to comply with the court order.