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DSS arrests Edo lawmaker

The Department of State Services (DSS) has arrested Ojo Asien, lawmaker representing Owan west constituency in the Edo state house of assembly.

Folorunsho Bamidele, Asien’s lawyer, confirmed the arrest to reporters, saying the reason for the action of the secret police was not disclosed.

Bamidele said his client has been held incommunicado “against his fundamental human rights”.

He said the DSS prevented anybody from seeing him, adding that the lawmaker had been transferred to Abuja for “further interrogation”.

“They prevented us from accessing him. We have written letters to explain the position of the law to them as to why they need to allow somebody who has been arrested access to his lawyer,” he said.

“The first day we went there, we were there till 10.30 pm because they told us they were not going to detain him, that it was just for mere invitation. That was the initial language they used.

“We are left with no option than to prepare to file a suit for the entrapment of his fundamental human right because as constitutionally provided, they have exceeded the number of hours as in our constitution that if you arrest anybody, within 24 hours, you should present charges or free him.

“This country is not a banana Republic. Within 24 hours, you ought to arraign the person, inform the person the nature of the offence, allow the person have access to his legal representative but they are just telling is that they are making him comfortable but we know those things are just gimmick.”

When asked if there was a political undertone to the arrest, Bamidele said: “Of course, I am suspecting political victimisation, smoke does not just come without fire.

“Then they say where the eagles are gathered, there the carcass lies. You know the kind of person they have arrested; he is a very strong person politically in that place and I think that is why they are very reluctant in allowing his lawyer see him and know what is going on.”

Asein was suspended in January by his ward, Uhonmora ward 2, over alleged anti-party activities.

Lucky Aroye, APC ward chairman, in a statement signed by all the ward executives, said Asein allegedly held several meetings with an opposition party during which he allegedly told his supporters to prepare for defection.

“Asein has been going about holding meetings under the disguise of the APC where he openly told the members to prepare themselves for defection,” he had said.

“It is in this regard that at an enlarged meeting of the ward, we took the decision for his suspension by invoking article 21 of the party’s constitution. The same article spelt out disciplinary procedures.”

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