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Lawyer ‘Detained By DSS For 3 Years For Terrorism’ Regains Freedom

The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has  secured the release of Pius Awoke, a Nigerian lawyer who has reportedly been held in custody by the Department of State Services (DSS) since 2021. 

 

The NBA’s spokesperson, Akorede Lawal stated this in a statement.

PLATFORM TIMES gathered that  the president of the NBA,Yakubu Maikyau played a pivotal role in facilitating his  release on June 21, 2024.

 Lawal said “the President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Mr. Yakubu Chonoko Maikyau, OON, SAN, has secured the release of Pius I. Awoke Esq of the Abakaliki Branch of the NBA from the Department of State Services (DSS).

“The present NBA leadership got to know of the arrest and detention of Mr. Awoke by the DSS since 2021 on an allegation of terrorism a few weeks ago. 

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

The NBA expressed its relief at Awoke’s release but also conveyed its commitment to investigating the circumstances that led to such an extended detention without formal charges being filed.

 The organization condemned the practice of prolonged detentions without charge, labeling it a breach of fundamental human rights.

He said “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.”

 Lawal continued. “We reiterate our commitment to the protection of these fundamental rights.”

In a statement following his release, Awoke expressed his profound gratitude to the NBA leadership for their efforts. “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,” he said.

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