On the 24th of March 2020, Emperor Gabriel Ogbonna, an Abia based Human Rights Lawyer was arrested by operatives of the State Security Service and armed policemen over a Facebook Post. He was thereafter taken to the Abia State Police Command where he was confronted with a petition written against him for published falsehood against the governor of Abia State.
Gabriel Ogbonna was eventually arraigned before the Magistrate’s Court which remanded him in custody. He was later charged before the Federal High Court, Umuahia, and was admitted to bail by the said court. Gabriel Ogbonna perfected the conditions of his bail and was released from the correctional centre on April 28, 2020, but he was again arrested immediately by the Abia State Director of SSS who later transferred him to the headquarters in Abuja. A fundamental rights action was filed on his behalf in Federal High Court, Umuahia and he was ordered to be released, however, upon service on DSS, the agency refused to obey the said Court Order.
The SSS claimed that Gabriel Ogbonna was re-arrested for another complaint against him, different from his alleged false claims against the Abia State governor. Notwithstanding, Ogbonna’s continued detention beyond the constitutionally permitted duration is a violation to his constitutional rights and a disobedience to Court Order.