The Federal High Court, Abuja, has ordered the Department of State Services, DSS, to release five worshippers who were arrested at Dunamis International Gospel Centre on July 4 for allegedly wearing t-shirts with inciting inscriptions.
The applicants, Ben Manasseh, Anene Udoka, Henry Nwodo, Samuel Larry, and Samuel Gabriel, filed their separate suits at the Federal High Court, Abuja.
Justice Anwuli Chikere gave the order following separate ex-parte applications filed on their behalf by their lawyer, Mr Tope Temokun.
Justice Chikere ordered that the DSS should release the applicants with immediate effect.
They had sued the DSS, President Muhammadu Buhari, the church’s pastor-in-charge, Pastor Paul Enenche, and others for alleged unlawful arrest and detention.
The plaintiffs, who urged the court to declare their arrest and detention unlawful, also asked the court to award N10 million each, in damages, for the violation of their fundamental rights
Temokun had argued in separate suits that his clients were entitled to the fundamental rights to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion, right to freedom of expression and the press, right to freedom from discrimination, and right to personal liberty.
According to him, the rights are guaranteed under sections 35, 38, 39, and 42 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and under Articles 1, 2, 6, 8, and 9 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights Ratification and Enforcement.
Other defendants included the Director-General of the DSS and the Attorney-General of the Federation.