Three Years After: Ebonyi Lawyer Regains Freedom From DSS Custody

A Lawyer, Pius Awoke has been released by the Department of State Service after three years in their custody.

His release was secured by the Nigerian Bar Association, on Sunday.

NBA said successfully secured the release of Pius Awoke Esq, a member of its Abakaliki Branch in the custody of the Department of State Service.

NBA said a final year computer department student of Ebonyi State University, Onyiba Emmanuel Chinonso, was also released through its intervention from the cell of the nation’s secret security agency.

According to a statement made available to newsmen by the association’s National Publicity Secretary, Akorede Lawal, on Sunday in Abuja, the duo were released following the intervention of the NBA leadership, led by the President, Mr Yakubu Maikyau (SAN).

It added that the present NBA leadership also only got to know of the arrest and detention of Mr Awoke by the DSS, which had been since the year 2021, bordering on allegations of terrorism, some few weeks ago.

“Through the concerted efforts of the NBA leadership, Mr Awoke was released alongside his cousin, one Onyiba Emmanuel Chinonso, a final year student of computer studies at the Ebonyi State University who was arrested and detained with Mr Awoke since 2021”, the statement read.

The statement read further: “The NBA President, Alongside the General Secretary, Adesina Adegbite, 2nd Vice President, Clement Chukwuemeka, the National Publicity Secretary, Akorede Lawal and the Welfare Secretary, Chinyere Obasi, formally received Awoke and Onyibo at the NBA National Secretariat, Saturday, June 22, 2024.

“Mikyau, in his remarks, thanked the Chairman of the NBA Minna Branch, Mr. Mohammed Waziri, who was delegated to physically interface with the DSS who took custody of Awoke and Onyibo upon their release in Minna on June 21, 2024.

“Mr. Awoke thanked the NBA leadership for being responsible for his release.
He said “I was left with no hope. I only hoped in God. I did not know that the NBA was taking any steps to get me out. The NBA has not just secured the release of a lawyer, but you have saved the life of a lawyer.”

“While the NBA is relieved that Mr. Awoke has regained his freedom, the NBA is committed to interrogating the circumstances that led to his arrest and detention for such a long period without arraignment.

” The NBA decries incidents of long detention of citizens without charge by law enforcement agencies as a breach of citizens’ fundamental right to fair hearing and personal liberty, and we reiterate our commitment to the protection of these fundamental rights.”

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