FG VS SOWORE:DSS To Arraign Sowore Next Week

The Department of State Service (DSS) is still holding activist and Convener of the RevolutionNow protest, Omoyele Sowore, in its custody four days after the Federal High Court in Abuja ordered his release.

Sources within the Department of State Service (DSS) told newsmen that the agency was not in a hurry to release the activist, saying: “We are aware of the court order, but we are still keeping him to be arraigned next week on charges that Nigerians will know of when he gets to court.” Guardian reports.

Meanwhile, investigative journalists around the world yesterday joined the call for Sowore’s immediate release, just as the human rights lawyer, Ebun Olu-Adegboruwa (SAN) has declared his continued detention by the DSS illegal.

In her speech delivered at the on-going Global Investigative Journalism Conference in Hamburg, Germany, the Director, Media, Technology and Advocacy Specialisation, Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, Anya Schiffrin, lamented Sowore’s continued detention by the DSS even after reportedly meeting his bail conditions.

Schiffrin said: “Mr. Sowore is a world-renowned journalist. He has pioneered new and important avenues in the field of investigative journalism.

“In addition, he is the founder of the well-known online investigative news outlet, Sahara Reporters, that focuses on corruption and political misconduct.

“Many colleagues in the worlds of journalism and academia hold Mr. Sowore in great esteem for his life-long effort in speaking truth to power.“After Sowore had spent more than six weeks in jail, on September 24, a Federal High Court Judge, Justice Taiwo Taiwo, granted Sowore bail and asked Sowore to surrender his passport pending his trial.”

Justice Taiwo of the Federal High Court had last Tuesday ordered the release of Sowore, who has been in the DSS custody since August 2, this year, when he was arrested in Lagos by the Service.

While ordering his release, Justice Taiwo noted that the detention order he issued to the DSS on August 8 expired last Saturday, September 21.The Judge had observed that he took cognizance of the fact that the DSS initially filed an ex-parte motion for extension of the detention order for another 20 days, but later withdrew the application through its lawyer, Godwin Abadua, and it was accordingly struck out.He held that the application having been struck out, there was nothing before the court to warrant Sowore’s continued stay in detention, noting: “The constitutional right to liberty of the high and the low, as well as the poor and the rich is guaranteed under the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“I am of the view that the Respondent ought to be released forthwith in view of the fact that there is no extant order of this court for his continued detention.”

But the DSS appears to have ignored the court order, as frantic attempts by Sowore’s lawyers to secure his freedom had hit a brick wall. A member of his legal team disclosed that the agency blatantly refused to release him, feigning ignorance of the order.Spokesperson of the DSS had claimed that the agency had yet to receive a copy of the court order, contrary to insistence of Sowore’s lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN), that it was duly received on September 24, the same day it was made, by one Ayuba Adam of the Legal Department of the DSS.

The post FG VS SOWORE:DSS To Arraign Sowore Next Week appeared first on iReporter Online.



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