ABUJA, Nigeria – A Nigerian court has ordered secret police to release five suspects detained for wearing T-shirts criticizing President Muhammadu Buhari, his lawyer said on Tuesday.
The men were arrested earlier this month by the Department of State Services (DSS) during a church service led by a renowned evangelical pastor in the Nigerian capital Abuja.
He said “Buhari must go!” He was wearing a T-shirt with the slogan of He was arrested and detained when inside the church.
Church was accused of aiding in the arrest, but it denied the charge.
On Monday, the Federal High Court of Abuja ordered the DSS to release the suspects, lawyer Alan Sowar told AFP.
“The judge ordered his release without any conditions. But we have not got a certified true copy of that order,” he said.
He said his clients were yet to be freed.
“Unfortunately, the judge hasn’t signed the order. So, here we just came [to the DSS office] Thinking that they will act on the order of the court, but they did not act.”
Buhari, a former army commander, recently banned Twitter after his government, a move Western allies and critics warned would curtail freedom of expression.
Officials announced the ban after Twitter removed a comment from Buhari’s personal account for violating its policies.
The Nigerian leader is also under pressure to deal with the country’s insecurities.
Security forces are battling Islamic insurgency in the northeast, large-scale kidnappings by criminal gangs in the central and northwestern states and separatist tensions in parts of the south.