The Federal High Court in Abuja has joined the Department of State Services (DSS) in a suit by a Lagos hotelier Saibu Ogunmola, who is challenging his detention without trial.

He was arrested by the men of the Navy in connection with illicit dealing in petroleum products and pipeline vandalism, and was handed over to the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA).

Justice Lilian Ojukwu had on April 17 granted an ex-parte application ordering Navy and DIA to produce the hotelier.

The order followed an application by Ogunmola’s lawyer McAnthony Aikharialea urging the court to order his release following Navy’s failure to arraign him after keeping him for 90 days.

DIA and Navy, through their lawyers Messrs C. O. Abodunde and Anthony Ebeh, told the court that Ogunmola was not in their custody but had been transferred to the DSS for investigation and possible prosecution.

Justice Ojukwu granted Aikharialea’s prayer to join DSS in the suit to explain why it has not charged Ogunmola, who is the Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of Peace and Love International Hotel, Igbo Eseyore, Snake Island.

The hotelier is praying the court to declare that his arrest and detention by the respondents is a violation of his fundamental rights guaranteed by sections 35, 41 and 41 of the 1999 Constitution.

He also asked the court for an order restraining the respondents from further arresting, detaining or any other manner infringing upon his fundamental human rights.

Ogunmola is praying for an order compelling the respondents or their agents to release him forthwith.

He prayed for N2.5 million as general damages for the breach of his fundamental human rights.

Justice Ojukwu adjourned until Friday.

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