Nigeria authorities have said that the three Lebanese arrested last month for alleged possession of illegal arms in the northern city of Kano and Abuja, the nation’s capital are involved in a much more serious case of terrorism and a threat to national security.
According to court papers filed in response to a lawsuit filed by the three Lebanese challenging their detention by the Department of State Service (DSS), preliminary investigation has established a much more serious case of terrorism and their activities constitute a threat to national security.
The suspects, Abdallah Thaini, Mustapha Fawaz and Talal Roda were brought to court in obedience to a court order directing the secret police to produce them to enable them prosecute their case.
The accused persons who are alleged to be members of Hezbollah, an international terrorist organisation were brought to court on the order of Justice Adeniyi Ademola having instituted a N3 billion suit against the federal government for alleged illegal detention.
Hearing of the suit was however stalled as lawyer to the DSS, Cliff Osagie announced that he had served a counter affidavit on the accused persons with a more serious case of terrorism.
Lawyer to the accused persons, Robert Clarke said the suspects are asking for N1 billion in damages for unlawful detention because they have been detained for more than 40 days without the authorities telling them their offence.
The suspects are praying for an interim order granting them bail forthwith conditionally or unconditionally, pending the determination of the substantive Motion on Notice in the matter.
They are also praying for an Interim Order restraining the SSS, IG and AGF from continued arrest, detention, harassment and intimidation of their families, relations and/or business interests, pending the determination of the substantive Motion on Notice in the matter.
The SSS is yet to file formal charges against the suspects.
Apart from challenging their detention, and faulting the closure of their business premises by security agents, the suspects also demanded a public apology from the SSS, IG and AGF, to be published in three national dailies. They are also asking for N50 billion as compensation.
The judge then adjourned hearing to June 21, in the suspects’ Motion on Notice which was dated June, 3.