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Court grants DSS permission to detain suspected Nigerian ISIS member

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A Federal High Court in Abuja on Wednesday granted the State Security Service (SSS) an interim order to hold Emmanuel Osase, a Nigerian accused of being a member of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), for 60 days.

Judge Inyang Ekwo issued the ruling after counsel for the SSS, A.A. Ugee, filed an ex-parte motion to that effect.

When the case was summoned on Wednesday, Mr. Ugee notified the court about the application.

He said the motion ex-parte marked FHC/ABJ/CS/409/2024 was brought pursuant to Section 66(1) of the Terrorism (Prevention and Prohibition) Act, 2022.

He prayed the court for an order enabling the security outfit to detain Mr Osase for 60 days pending the conclusion of investigations.

Mr Ekwo granted the application.

He then adjourned until the end of the 60 days period on 3 June for report.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that SSS arrested Mr Osase on 11 March for propagating the messages of the terrorist group, opposing democratic system of government in Nigeria and calling for terrorists attacks on Nigeria and it symbols of sovereignty.

In an affidavit dated 27 March and deposed to by Ahmad Abubakar, an operative attached to the Legal Service Department at the National Headquarters of SSS, Abuja, he averred that the release of the suspect could jeopardise investigation.

He said that Mr Osase was arrested by a team of SSS “for alleged membership and propagation of Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist messages, including opposition to democratic system of Government and the call for staging terrorists attacks against Nigeria State and its symbols of sovereignty.”

Mr Abubakar added that Mr Osase was jailed five years for terrorism-related offences in France and was deported after the completion of his sentence.

He said that from the service’s preliminary investigation, Mr Osase, who is an ex-convict, still engaged in terrorist activities which previously led to his conviction in France.

He said Mr Osase appeared not to have renounced his terrorist ideologies, “as he continues to engage with the proscribed pro-ISIS online media group known as al-Alawn Media Foundation, whose main objectives is the creation and dissemination of terrorist content and the promotion of terrorist attacks against democratic systems of government such as Nigeria and the western governments, including their interests across the globe.”

He said the suspect, who was born in the Federal Capital Territory, “left Nigeria for France and never returned to Nigeria until his deportation after completion of five years jail term for acts of terrorism and attempt to join the Islamic State (IS) linked terrorist group, Friqat Al-Ghuraba (Group of Foreigners) in Syria.”

Mr Abubakar said his activities constituted a potent threat to national security and corporate existence of Nigeria.

He said there was a need for a thorough investigation of the suspect to ensure that he did not pose any security threat to Nigeria or the world at large.

According to him, the respondent is helping with vital Information that will lead to the arrest of other members who are still at large.

He said it would be in the interest of justice and national security to grant the application.

NAN

 

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