Omoyele Sowore


Detained human right activists, Omoyele Sowore and Olawale Bakare popularly known as Mandate, have rejected moves by the Department of State Services to seek leave of court to transfer them to the solitary confinement in a correctional centre (prison).

In a notice of preliminary objection obtained by SaharaReporters filed through their lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN), at the Federal High Court, Abuja, on Tuesday with suit No: FHC/ABJ/CR/235/2019, the activists described the application of the DSS as frivolous, vexatious and a contemptuous abuse of the process of court.

The secret police through the agency’s counsel, Hassan Liman, had on November 27, 2019 filed an application seeking an order of the court to vary a pronouncement made on October 4, 2019 following the requests of the defendants and their counsels to be remanded in DSS custody instead of the Nigerian Correctional Services.

The application reads, “The Department of the State Services upon being served the release order dated November 6, 2019 from the court, requested the defendants and their counsel to bring forward their sureties in order to comply with the internal administrative procedures for the release of the defendants by the DSS but the defendants and their counsel refused to comply with the request.

“That the DSS is no longer interested in keeping the defendants in their custody.”

According to Falana, the application was a ploy by the DSS to frustrate the execution of the order of release made by the court on November 6.

He argued that the agency had no genuine intention to prosecute his clients on the trumped-up charges as prosecution refused to avail the defence team statement of witnesses as ordered by the court.

Falana urged the court to order for the immediate release of his client in line with the ruling earlier delivered.

The DSS has continued to hold on to Sowore and Bakare despite two court orders to release them after meeting bail conditions on both occasions.

Sowore was arrested in Lagos on August 3, 2019 for calling on Nigerians to take to the streets in peaceful demonstrations to demand a better country from the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.

The government has accused him of insulting President Buhari and planning to bring down his government – charges observers around the world including leading legal practitioners describe as frivolous and laughable.

His trial is set to resume in Abuja this week in what observers describe as another huge attempt by the Nigerian Government to silence his voice.


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