Departments of State Security, DSS, yesterday released an Ogun State-based Islamic cleric, Abdul-Ganiy Jimoh Ibrahim, who was arrested in July 2014 at his Ijoko-Ota residence in Ado-Odo/Ota local government area of the state, after 14 months in detention.
This was coming almost three months after Justice Folake Ogunbanjo of a Federal High Court sitting in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, had declared the continuous incarceration of the cleric as illegal and unconstitutional.
The cleric was arrested on July 5, 2014, alongside his pregnant wife, Muinat Abdul-Ganiy Ibrahim, and has been in custody until yesterday when he was released around 11am to members of his family.
The whereabouts of the cleric and his wife was unknown until after 64 days when the wife was released from the Abeokuta office of DSS as her Expected Date of Delivery, EDD, was approaching.
The DSS had earlier denied having knowledge of the whereabouts of the cleric until the wife was released to family members for delivery.
Family members, followers and well wishers yesterday thronged the premises of the Federal High Court as their own was released to his lawyer, Ahmed Adetola-Kaseem and wife.
Justice Ogunbanjo had on June 18 declared the continuous detention as an infringement on fundamental rights to dignity of person, personal liberty and freedom of movement as guaranteed by Section 34, 35 and 41 of the 1999 Constitution.
Quoting section 35 (6) of the constitution, Ogunbanjo also granted N1million damages and public apology to the cleric.
The cleric, who looked frail after his release, betrayed emotions as he wept profusely while others also joined.
Efforts by journalists to speak with the victim was unsuccessful as the cleric continued to say, “Let us just thank Allah who has allowed me to see this day, I will just thank Allah and to appreciate all those who assisted. I will not be able to speak much, let us just thank Allah; let us leave it like that.”
The Counsel, Adetola-Kaseem, who is also the Director, Prisoners Right Advocacy Initiative, bemoaned what he tagged selective compliance of the court orders.
He said, “We just have to thank Allah like the cleric has said, many people were arrested and have died in custody, many of them, people don’t even know where they were. This particular cleric, nobody knew where he was for 64 days until his wife was being released that we knew where he was.
“We started the battle, with the judgement but the judgement was also not obeyed but at the appointed time, he was released. We are grateful. On the damages, we will discuss and know where to go, now that the cleric is out,” he added.

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