DSS gets order to detain suspected ISIS member

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The Department of State Services, on Wednesday, obtained a court order to detain a Nigerian, Emmanuel Osase, who is accused of being a member of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja said the DSS could detain the suspect for 60 days.

The order followed an ex parte application, marked FHC/ABJ/CS/409/2024, taken before the judge by a DSS lawyer, A. A. Ugee.

Ugee told the court that the matter was brought pursuant to Section 66(1) of the Terrorism (Prevention and Prohibition) Act 2022.

He prayed the court for an order enabling the applicant to detain the suspect for 60 days pending the conclusion of investigation.

Ruling,  Justice Ekwo, a vacation judge, granted the application.

He said, “Upon studying the averments in the affidavit, I hereby grant the relief as prayed. “

The judge subsequently adjourned till June 3 for further proceedings.

Osase, who was arrested on March 11, was accused of propagating ISIS messages, opposing the democratic system of government in Nigeria, and calling for terrorist attacks on Nigeria and its symbols of sovereignty.

In a March 27, 2024 affidavit, Ahmad Abubakar of the DSS Legal Service Department, Abuja, said the suspect needed to be detained because his release would jeopardise the DSS investigation.

He said, “The respondent was arrested by a team of personnel from the applicant’s office for alleged membership and propagation of Islamic State in Iraq and Syria terrorist messages, including opposition to the democratic system of government and the call for staging terrorist attacks against the Nigerian state and its symbols of sovereignty.”

Abubakar stated that Osase was jailed for five years for terrorism-related offences in France and was deported after the completion of his sentence.

Abubakar added, “Preliminary investigation revealed that the respondent, who is an ex-convict, still engages in terrorist activities which previously led to his conviction in France.

“The respondent appears not to have renounced his terrorist ideologies, as he continues to engage with the proscribed pro-ISIS online media group known as ‘al-Alawn Media Foundation,’ whose main objective is the creation and dissemination of terrorist content and the promotion of terrorist attacks against the democratic systems of Nigeria and the Western governments, including their interests across the globe.

“The respondent, who was born in the Federal Capital Territory, left Nigeria for France and never returned to Nigeria until his deportation after completion of a five-year jail term in France for acts of terrorism and attempt to join the Islamic State (IS) linked terrorist group, Friqat Al-Ghuraba (group of foreigners) in Syria.

 “The respondent at the point of arrest, formatted his mobile device to factory settings upon sighting security agents ostensibly to wipe out any suspicious contents on the device and cover up his nefarious activities.

“The activities of the respondent constitute a potent threat to national security and corporate existence of Nigeria.

“The release of the respondent at this time would jeopardise the investigation, as investigation has assumed a wider dimension.

“There is a need for a thorough investigation of the suspect to ensure that he does not pose any security threat to Nigeria or the world at large

“The respondent is helping with vital information that will lead to the arrest of other members who are still at large.”

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