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DSS gets order to detain suspected ISIS member

On Wednesday, the Department of State Services (DSS) secured a court order to detain Nigerian citizen Emmanuel Osase, who stands accused of being a member of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

The ruling was issued by Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja, granting the DSS permission to detain Osase for a period of 60 days. This decision followed an ex parte application, designated as FHC/ABJ/CS/409/2024, presented to the judge by a DSS lawyer named A. A. Ugee. In the application, Ugee invoked Section 66(1) of the Terrorism (Prevention and Prohibition) Act 2022, seeking authorization for Osase’s detention pending the conclusion of the investigation.

During the court proceedings, Ugee urged the judge to grant the request, citing the necessity to detain Osase for the purpose of conducting a thorough investigation into the allegations against him. In response, Justice Ekwo, acting as a vacation judge, carefully reviewed the contents of the affidavit presented before him and subsequently granted the application. He stated, “Upon studying the averments in the affidavit, I hereby grant the relief as prayed.”

The court then adjourned the case until June 3 for further proceedings.

Emmanuel Osase, who was apprehended on March 11, stands accused of disseminating ISIS messages, advocating against Nigeria’s democratic system of government, and inciting terrorist attacks on Nigerian soil and its symbols of sovereignty. In an affidavit submitted on March 27, 2024, Ahmad Abubakar, representing the DSS Legal Service Department in Abuja, outlined the grounds for Osase’s detention. Abubakar highlighted Osase’s prior conviction for terrorism-related offenses in France, where he served a five-year prison sentence before being deported back to Nigeria. Despite his previous conviction, Abubakar asserted that Osase had persisted in engaging in terrorist activities, as evidenced by his continued association with the pro-ISIS online media group known as the ‘al-Alawn Media Foundation.’

Abubakar further emphasized the significant threat posed by Osase’s activities to national security and Nigeria’s corporate existence. He underscored the importance of detaining Osase to prevent any potential security threats and ensure the successful conclusion of the ongoing investigation. Abubakar also noted Osase’s efforts to conceal potentially incriminating evidence by formatting his mobile device upon encountering security agents.

Ultimately, the court order to detain Osase reflects the gravity of the allegations against him and the imperative to safeguard national security interests. The case underscores the ongoing challenges faced by authorities in combating terrorism and underscores the necessity of robust investigative measures to address such threats effectively.

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