Alleged ISIS Member: Court grants order to detain Emmanuel Osase for 60 days

From Lateef Taiwo

The Federal High Court in Abuja on Wednesday granted the request of the State Security Service, SSS, to detain Emmanuel Osase, a Nigerian accused of being a member of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria for 60 days.

The presiding judge Justice Inyang Edem Ekwo, gave the order while ruling in a motion ex-parte filed by the SSS marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/409/2024.

SSS counsel, Mr A. A Ugee had told the court that the matter was brought pursuant to section 66(1) of the Terrorism (Prevention and Prohibition) Act 2022.

He prayed the court for an order enabling the SSS to detain Osase for 60 days pending the conclusion of investigation.

The SSS in an affidavit dated March 27, 2024, and deposed to by one of its personnel attached to the Legal Service Department, National Headquarters, Abuja, Ahmad Abubakar, sought an order to detain Osase for 60 days.

Abubakar had held that the release of the suspect could jeopardize its investigation.

He said, “That it is necessary for the Applicant in the case to apply to this Honourable Court for an Order to detain the Applicant for a period of sixty (60) days, pending the conclusion of an ongoing investigation in a case of terrorism;

” That the Respondent was arrested by a team of personnel from the applicant’s office for alleged membership and propagation of Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist messages, including opposition to the Democratic System of Government and the call for staging terrorist attacks against Nigeria State and its symbols of sovereignty;”

The SSS had said that Osase was jailed for five years for terrorism-related offences in France and was deported after the completion of his sentence.

Abubakar said that from the service’s preliminary investigation, Osase was still involved in terrorist activities.

He said the respondent still engaged with a proscribed pro-ISIS online media group known as “al-Alawn Media Foundation.

“That Preliminary investigation revealed that the Respondent, who is an ex-convict, still engages in terrorist activities which previously led to his conviction in France;

” That the Respondent 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;

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

Abubakar stated that the respondent upon sighting operatives of the service formatted his phone.

He said, ” That the Respondent at the point of arrest, formatted his mobile device to factory settings upon sighting security agents ostensibly to wipe out any suspicious contents on the device and cover up his nefarious activities;

“That the activities of the Respondent constitute a potent threat to National Security and corporate existence of Nigeria;”

He urged the court to grant the request of the service, as there was a need to painstakingly probe the respondent to ensure he does not constitute a security treat to the country and world at large.

” That the release of the Respondent at this time would jeopardize the investigation, as investigation has assumed a wider dimension;

“That there is a need for a thorough investigation of the suspect to ensure that he does not pose any security threat to Nigeria or the world at large.

“That the Respondent is helping with vital information that will lead to the arrest of other members who are still at large,” Abubakar stated.

In a ruling, Justice Ekwo, a vacation judge, granted the prayer of the SSS.

He said, “Upon studying the averments in the affidavit, I hereby grant the relief as prayed.”

The matter was subsequently adjourned till June 3, 2024.

Osase was arrested on March 11 and accused of propagating the messages of a terrorist group, opposing the Democratic system of government in Nigeria, and calling for terrorist attacks on Nigeria and its symbols of sovereignty.


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