A popular Nigerian lawyer and rights activist was detained overnight on Wednesday, January 14, 2015 for allegedly addressing President Muhammadu Buhari in a disrespectful way.
Emeka Ugwuonye, Esquire, Group Founder/Principal Administrator of Due Process Advocates (DPA), was stopped by operatives of the Department of State Service (DSS) upon arrival at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos.
“They told me they would have to hear from Abuja (DSS Headquarters) before allowing me to go,” Mr. Ugwuonye, a senior lawyer who practises in Nigeria and the United States of America, told News Express this morning. “I had to tell my driver and personal assistant to go when I was not released as at midnight,” he added.
News Express learnt that Mr. Ugwuonye, who was not allowed to go until after clearance by Abuja, was detained in connection with a video he recently uploaded on the DPA Facebook page in which he said that President Buhari must obey court orders. “He talked as if he was ordering the President,” a DSS source said, adding that Buhari should be talked to with respect as he is the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces.
Ugwuonye said, “This is unacceptable. I am going to sue them on Monday.”
He repeated what he said in the video, insisting that Buhari, who recently declared in public not to obey some court orders, has no option than to abide by the dictates of the Nigerian Constitution and has no right to choose court orders to obey.
Below are his Facebook update as the episode was unfolding.