A federal high court judge, Justice Nnamdi Dimgba on Friday carpeted the Department of State Security (DSS) for flouting an order of the court to remand a defendant in prison.
Justice Dimgba of the Abuja division of the federal high court, had on Thursday ordered that a retired Air Commodore, Umar Mohammed, who was arraigned before him on money laundering, possession of fire arms and violation of provision of Official Secret Act, be remanded in Kuje Prison pending the hearing of his bail application.
The defendant was a member of the presidential committee investigating the procurement of arms in the Nigerian Armed Forces.
But the DSS failed to produce him in court on Friday while his counsel argued his bail application.
Furious by the service’s disregard of the court’s order to remand Mr. Mohammed in prison custody, Mr. Dimgba described it as an embarrassment to democracy.
“I take a strong exception to this type of behaviour; when the court orders that someone be kept in prison custody, the person ought to be kept in prison and not in the office.
“If the people at the DSS want to become judge and do their job as well, I am ready to vacate my office for them, but as long as I am still here, I take an exception to them flouting the orders of the court.
“Once processes have been filed in court, it is no longer in their hands and the order of the court must be obeyed”, Mr. Dimgba said.
He asked the prosecuting counsel, E.A Orji, to convey the grievances of the court to the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice.
The judge adjourned ruling on the bail application until 2 p.m.
Counsel to Mr. Mohammed, Hassan Liman, had told the court that the SSS whisked Mr. Mohammed away immediately after the court proceedings ended on Thursday.
But the prosecuting counsel explained that the defendant was taken to the SSS office for some documentation.