We’re not violating court order to release Sowore, says DSS

…DSS bail claims an insult – Sowore

The Department of State Services has denied claims that the service is refusing to obey the order of a Federal High Court ordering the release of the convener of #Revolutionnow protest, Mr. Omoyele Sowore.

In a telephone conversation with Channels Television, the Public Relations Officer of the Service, Dr. Peter Afunanya said counsel to Mr. Sowore is yet to perfect the conditions for his release.

Dr. Afunanya added that the service remains a law-abiding agency and committed to the rule of law.

Mr Femi Falana who is the lawyer to Mr Sowore had On Wednesday, said that despite fulfilling the bail conditions of his client since morning, the Department of State Services (DSS) was yet to release him.

In a telephone conversation, Falana explained that no reason has been given by the agency for its failure to comply with the court order delivered on Tuesday, September 24, 2019.

Justice Taiwo Taiwo had ordered the release of Mr Sowore who is also the publisher of Sahara Reporters.

He was arrested on the eve of his planned protest across Nigeria and detained for 45 days in the DSS custody over allegations of treasonable felony and money laundering.

A day before the 45-day detention was to elapse, the Federal Government filed additional Charges against him.

At the hearing on Tuesday, the Federal Government prosecutor, Godwin Agbadua, stated that Sowore had committed a capital offence and should still be detained in the “interest of justice and national security”.

But Mr Falana argued that his client was charged with insulting the President, money laundering and conspiracy to commit treason, all of which he said are not capital offences.

While other charges were maintained, Agbadua, however, withdrew the application to further detain Sowore and the court struck out the application.

Consequently, Falana asked the court to order the immediate release of his client.

According to him, there was no longer any competent court order for his further remand.

After hearing arguments from both the prosecuting and defence counsels, the Judge ordered Sowore’s release on the ground that there was no order still in court.

He, however, ordered Sowore to deposit all his travel documents with the court in the next 48 hours and also asked his lawyer (Mr Falana) to present him whenever the court needs him.

Meanwhile, Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana, has that it is an insult for the Department of State Services to say that it did not receive copies of a Federal High Court order directing it to immediately release pro-democracy campaigner and Publisher of Sahara Reporters, Omoyele Sowore.

Responding to a statement credited to the spokesperson for the DSS, Dr Peter Afunnaya, Falana said that the DSS’s position suggests that it it is not ceased of the facts in the courts order.

Falana said the court had asked his client to deposit his passports with the court which has been done and that for the past three days he has been at the DSS office for hours to effect the release of his client which the court ordered should be released to him.

The human rights activist wondered what other conditions the DSS is demanding to be met.

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