Human rights lawyer and counsel to Omoyele Sowore, Femi Falana (SAN), has said that the Department of State Services has no reason to petition the National Judicial Council on how Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja, handled Sowore’s case.
Falana said this in reaction to media reports that the DSS will be reporting the judge to the NJC, accusing him of abuse of power as Sowore should not have been granted bail.
The lawyer, while describing the report as “fictitious” and a “figment of the imagination of the writer”, claimed that the DSS was trying to justify their illegal actions by re-arraigning Sowore.
Falana said, “In a desperate bid to divert public attention from the contemptuous conduct of the DSS, the Nigerian Government has hurriedly pressurised the Federal High Court to assign the case for the arraignment of Sowore.
“From the information at our disposal, the report was designed to blackmail and intimidate the judges of the Federal High Court with respect to the trial of Sowore.
“Having regards to the facts and circumstances of this case, the DSS cannot complain against the handling of the case by Justice Taiwo who did not even entertain our application to quash the order for Sowore's detention for 45 days.
“We had wanted to show that Sowore did not engage in any terrorist activity to warrant his incarceration.
“But the order for the 45-day detention of Sowore was allowed to expire by effluxion of time.
“Since Sowore was eventually not charged with terrorism, it means that the order to detain him for 45 days was obtained by fraud and misrepresentation of facts on the part of the DSS.”
The lawyer urged Nigerians to disregard the report as Justice Taiwo had not been accused of any act of judicial misconduct in ordering the conditional release of Sowore from unlawful custody.
He also added that the NJC has no power to sanction Justice Taiwo for exercising his discretion in an application.