Two federal high courts on Thursday issued contradictory rulings on the detention of Ifeanyi Ubah, managing director of Capital Oil and Gas Limited.
A federal high court in Lagos had initially ordered the Department of State Services (DSS) to release Ubah.
Mohammed Idris, the presiding judge, ordered the security agency to release him “unconditionally within 48 hours”.
In a 100 page judgment, the judge also berated the DSS for “lying” to the court that Ubah was arrested in Abuja, “while from every available evidence, he was arrested in Lagos and flown to Abuja”.
Shortly after, a federal high court in Abuja, in another ruling, gave the agency a go-ahead to detain Ubah for another 14 days.
Yusuf Halilu, the presiding judge of the Abuja court, extended Ubah’s detention order following an ex-parte application filed by the DSS.
The agency said the application, filed through its lawyer – G.O.A. Agbadua – was because an earlier order the court granted it on May 10, elapsed on Wednesday.
The judge also dismissed a motion on notice brought by Ubah asking the court to vacate the earlier ex-parte it granted on May 10 which allowed the DSS to detain him for 14 days.
Agbadua informed the court of the agency’s new motion ex-parte brought pursuant to section 296(2) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA).
In the motion, the DSS asked the court to grant an order extending the detention of Ubah for another 14 days.
The counsel said it was as a result of the agency’s inability to “conclude investigation” within the initial 14 days granted it to detain Ubah.
He said the investigation into the matter “took on a wider dimension”.
Meanwhile, Ifeoma Esom, Ubah’s lawyer, has filed a fresh application before the court asking it to compel the DSS to release Ubah on administrative bail.