Police Training Is Colonial, Completely Primitive – Falana

 

Human rights lawyer Femi Falana, SAN, on Wednesday carried out a scathing review of the Nigeria Police, tracing the reason behind the rights violations, extortion, and brutality that has sparked protests across the country.

During an appearance on Politics Today, via a Skype call, the senior advocate traced the problem to how policemen and women are trained for their roles.

It is a process he believes is archaic and leaves officers with “no idea of human rights, human relations”.

“We are really not addressing the problems,” he warned referring to efforts made to reform the police.

“The training of the police is colonial; completely primitive. A man joining the Police Force, he goes to the police college. A woman goes to the police college dehumanised. A cannot make her hair; she has to cut her hair. A man has to shave his hair to the skull. The feeding is bad.”

READ ALSO: #EndSWAT: No SARS Officer Will Be Part Of New Tactical Team – Police

Falana’s comments come amid widespread protests against police brutality, especially the activities of the now-dissolved Special Anti-Robbery Squad that became notorious for extortion, assault, and killings.

The human rights lawyer who has repeatedly condemned rights violations by the police is not, however, surprised by the terror unleashed on citizens by members of the unit and many of their colleagues in the force overtime.

Police training in the country, he said, prepares them to disregard rights.

“They are trained like colonial policemen to brutalise the society and that is what is going on,” he said.

And it is not just starting.

According to him, as far back as the Second Republic, issues of extrajudicial killings had emerged with the Nigerian Mobile Police unit at the receiving end of allegations of brutality.

“So, those who are in mobile unit – we used to call them kill and go in the Second Republic under IGP (Sunday) Adewusi (in office from 1981-1983), that has transformed into SARS.”

The brutality as far as Falana is concerned is implanted in their psyche at the police college.

“What is the training in the college? They (trainees) are teargassed in rooms without windows. And for them (the authorities) that is the way to train them. They are beaten, tortured, and the feeding is bad,” he said.

“So when the man or the woman comes out of the college, he wants to brutalise the society that dehumanised him in the college.”

Then there is the issue of poor salaries and welfare with barracks and stations denied adequate funding.

“Police stations are not funded. So, daily, to run the station, the DPOs depend on extortion of money from the public, from suspects,” Falana added.

“Some stations are not built by the government but by members of the community.”

#EndSWAT: There’s No Indication Govt Is Prepared To Respect Nigerians’ Rights – Falana

 

Human Rights Lawyer, Femi Falana, has faulted the Federal Government for setting up a new unit called the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Team, to replace the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Unit (SARS).

During an interview on Channels TV’s Politics Today on Wednesday, Falana said a change of name was not enough and it appears there’s no indication that the government is prepared to respect the rights of Nigerians.

“As far as I’m concerned, so far, we are only scratching the surface of the problem and there’s been no indication that the government is prepared yet to respect the rights of the Nigerian people embodied in the constitution and other statues,” he said.

Just like many other Nigerians, Mr Falana believes that the problems go beyond a name change and, therefore, more concrete steps ought to be taken to bring about real change to policing in Nigeria.

Read Also: #EndSWAT: Several Injured As Hoodlums Attack Protesters In Abuja

“For me, it is not actually the name that matters and I think what the youths are saying is that beyond renaming, they want to see concrete steps taken to show that it is not going to be business as usual when it comes to policing in Nigeria,”.

The lawyer challenged state governors to also rise up to the occasion by doing all within their power to ensure the safety of its residents, rather than solely relying on the Federal Government.

“It is supposed to be a joint responsibility,” he said.

Speaking further, Falana said Nigerians owe the youths a lot of gratitude for “the peaceful manner in which they have carried out the protests and also for waking all of us up to our responsibilities”.

Onochie Not Qualified To Be INEC Commissioner, Says Falana

 

 

Human Rights Lawyer, Femi Falana, has faulted the appointment of Lauretta Onochie, an aide to President Muhammadu Buhari as a member of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

In a statement signed on Tuesday, hours after the President announced the appointment, Mr Falana listed some criteria provided in the Constitution to determine who is fit for the position.

One of the criteria included the fact that members must not be partisan – a rule which he says Mrs Lauretta is not compliant with.

He described her as an “unrepentant member” of the ruling party and one who has “consistently attacked members of other political parties.

“To that extent, she is partisan and therefore, not qualified to be a member of the Independent National Electoral Commission,” Falana said.

Read Also: No Single Protester Was Killed In Lagos – CP

President Buhari is seeking confirmation of Mrs Lauretta’s appointment as a National Commissioner for INEC, representing Delta State.

He made this known in a letter written to the Senate on Tuesday, which was later read by Senator Ahmed Lawan at plenary.

The President is also seeking confirmation of the appointment of three other; Professor Mohammed Sani (Katsina); Professor Kunle Ajayi (Ekiti), and Seidu Ahmed (Jigawa).

See full statement below: 

MEMBERS AND SUPPORTERS OF POLITICAL PARTIES ARE NOT QUALIFIED TO BE INEC COMMISSIONERS

In view of the desire of President Muhammadu Buhari to fill some vacancies in the Independent National Electoral Commission it has become pertinent to draw the attention of the Council of State and the Senate to the following provisions of the Constitution:

1. In appointing the members of the INEC the President is required to consult with the Council of State pursuant to section 154 (3) of the Constitution;

2. Paragraph B of Part 1 of the 3rd Schedule to the Constitution provides that “The Council of State shall have power to advise the President in the exercise of his powers with respect to (iv) the Independent National Electoral Commission including the appointment of the members of the Commission.

3. Pursuant to section 154 (1) of the Constitution, the appointment of the members of the Independent National Electoral Commission shall be subject to confirmation by the Senate;

4. Paragraph 14 of Part 1 of the Third Schedule to the Constitution as amended by Section 30, Act No 1 of 2010, a member of the Independent National Electoral Commission “shall be non-partisan”.

From the foregoing, it is crystal clear that a card-carrying member of a registered political party or a well known supporter of a particular political party is constitutionally disqualified from the membership of the Independent National Electoral Commission. As an unrepentant member of the ruling party Mrs Loretta Onochie has consistently attacked members of other political parties. To that extent, she is partisan and therefore not qualified to be a member of the Independent National Electoral Commission.

Femi Falana SAN

Interim Chair,
Alliance on Surviving Covid 19 and Beyond (ASCAB)

 


#SARSMUSTEND PROTESTS CONTINUE ACROSS NIGERIA.

 

A presidential panel on Tuesday approved the demands of #SARSMUSEND protesters, including halting the use of force against protesters and the unconditional release of arrested citizens.

Infectious Disease Bill Is Superfluous, Unconstitutional – Falana

Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr Femi Falana, says there is no need for the Infectious Diseases Bill

The proposed Infectious Diseases Bill co-sponsored by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, and two of his colleagues has been described as superfluous, illegal and unconstitutional.

Human rights lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr Femi Falana, told Channels Television on Wednesday that the efforts to replace the Quarantine Act was a waste of time as the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention Act of 2018 has taken care of what the lawmakers are trying to achieve.

Mr Falana, who spoke about the controversial bill during an appearance, via Skype, on Politics Today, said, “It is pertinent to inform Nigerians that in November 2018, a law was enacted in this country – the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control Act, NCDC Act, which has taken care of infectious diseases in the country.

“So, it is not correct, in fact, it is misleading on the part of the House of Representatives to say that it is amending the 1926 Quarantine Act because there is already a development between 1926 and now. You had the 2018 Act which has taken care of the entire provisions of the new bill.

“The new bill, as far as the law is concerned, is superfluous. Its provisions are largely illegal and unconstitutional.”

A close look at some sections of the said Act shows that the legislation empowers the NCDC to prevent, detect, monitor and control of national and international public health importance.

The law also empowers the NCDC to develop and coordinate capabilities, measures and activities to control outbreaks and mitigate the health impact of public health disasters.

 

As Nigeria battles the raging COVID-19 pandemic, several measures have been implemented to halt the spread of the virus which has infected 2,950 people in the country and claimed 98 lives.

The introduction of the infectious disease bill has, however, proved controversial with many calling for it to be dumped.

READ ALSO: Infectious Diseases Bill Conceived In Public Interest – Gbajabiamila

On Tuesday, in reaction to the controversy surrounding the bill, Mr Gbajabiamila defended it, saying it was conceived in public interest.

Gbajabiamila while addressing his colleagues at the resumption of plenary noted that since the introduction of the Bill a week ago, it drew a barrage of criticisms against it, with allegations of sinister motives.

“None of these allegations are true. Unfortunately, we now live in a time when conspiracy theories have gained such currency that genuine endeavours in the public interest can quickly become mischaracterised and misconstrued to raise the spectre of sinister intent and ominous possibility,” he said.

“This House of Representatives will never take any action that purposes to bring harm to any Nigerian here at home or abroad. As we have thus far shown by our conduct, the resolutions and actions we take in this 9th House of Representatives will always be in the best interests of the Nigerian people who elected us, and no one else.

“In the recent uproar, certain fundamental truths have been lost and are worth remembering. Our current framework for the prevention and management of infectious diseases is obsolete and no longer fit for purpose.

“The current law severely constrains the ability of the Federal Government of Nigeria and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to take proactive action to prevent the entry into Nigeria of infectious diseases and the management of public health emergencies when they occur,” he said.

Coronavirus: Declare State Of Emergency, Falana Tells Buhari

Femi Falana

 

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Femi Falana has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to declare a State of Emergency in the country.

Mr. Falana’s reaction comes amid the spread of the deadly coronavirus in the country.

“Last week, the Federal Government and a few state governments belatedly responded to the coronavirus pandemic,” Falana said in a statement released on Monday.

“Since then the authorities have advised Nigerians to comply with certain measures to contain the dreaded disease.

“But as the said measures are not backed by any law they have been ignored by some highly placed Nigerians including political and religious leaders. Millions of other people have also disregarded them out of sheer ignorance.

“In order to stem the dangerous trend, the Federal Government should put necessary legal measures and mechanisms in place without any further delay.

“In particular, the attention of the Nigerian people ought to be drawn to section 45 of the Constitution which provides that the fundamental rights of citizens to personal liberty, freedom of movement, freedom of assembly and association etc may be infringed upon or restricted in the interest of public health and public safety.”

Mr. Falana said that in line with Section 305 (1) of the constitution, the President should proclaim a State of Emergency on the nation.

“Therefore, President Muhammadu Buhari should, as a matter of urgency, issue a proclamation of a state of emergency in the entire Federation pursuant to section 305 (1) of the Constitution.

“Once the proclamation is issued by the President and published it is required to be approved by a resolution supported by a two-thirds majority of each house of the national assembly.

“Once the measures are set out in the said proclamation they will have the force of law capable of being enforced by the police and other security agencies. If President Buhari does not declare a state of emergency state governors are advised to issue Executive Orders to address the health challenge.

“However, it is pertinent to point out that the majority of the inmates in the nation’s highly congested correctional centres are not in a position to observe the social distancing policy recommended for the Nigerian people by the Federal Government.

“In the circumstances, the Federal Government should embark on the much-delayed decongestion of all detention facilities in the country. All inmates that are awaiting trial in all correctional centres, police stations and other detention facilities should be granted bail while convicts who are suffering from diabetes, tuberculosis, asthma and terminal diseases should be released from custody forthwith.

“TIME IS NOT ON OUR SIDE”!

President Buhari Is Breaking The Law – The Week In Quotes

 

The passing week has been a highly explosive one, especially in Nigeria’s political sphere.

Here are some quotes that give us a feel of what transpired in Nigeria and around the world in the passing week.

1. Buhari is running afoul of the law.

Mr Femi Falana

A human rights lawyer, Femi Falana on Monday says President Muhammadu Buhari is running afoul of the law in his decision not to terminate the current crop of security Service Chiefs.

2. No one in the country has a right to take laws into his hands by the way of self-help or revenge. Local communities that catch bandits should hand over the suspects to law enforcement authorities instead of meting out capital punishment, leading to a cycle of revenge and counter revenge.

President Muhammadu Buhari condemns the latest rounds of attacks and killings between bandits and residents in Damkal and Tsanwa villages in Batsari local government area of Katsina state.

3. Are you midwives of good things for Nigeria?

A Kenyan professor of law, Patrick Lumumba, calls on Nigerian lawmakers to work for the betterment of the people.

4. Introduction of community policing is a fraud.

The lawmaker representing Enugu West Senatorial District in the National Assembly, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, Ike Ekweremadu, says community policing is a “fraud”.

Insecurity: Presidency Has No Power To Stop Peaceful Protests – Falana

File photo

 

Human rights lawyer, Mr Femi Falana (SAN), has said that the Presidency has no power to stop any peaceful protest by aggrieved Nigerians who are calling for the replacement of the service chiefs.

Mr Falana, while responding to a statement credited to a presidential spokesperson, Mr Garba Shehu, on Sunday, said Nigerians have the fundamental right to demonstrate for or against the Federal Government.

The senior lawyer quoted Mr Shehu: “The Presidency wishes to caution a section of the political class against misleading the public and inciting protests against the heads of military institutions.

“This has become necessary in view of received reports that about 2, 000 men and women have been hired to demonstrate against Nigeria’s service chiefs on Monday.”

READ ALSO: Insecurity: NASS, Presidency Committed To Finding Lasting Solutions

He, however, cautioned that the Nigeria Police Force should not harass aggrieved Nigerians for protesting against perceived injustice in the country.

“The authorities of the Nigeria Police Force are urged not to harass aggrieved Nigerians for protesting against perceived injustice in the country.

“Nigerians have the fundamental right to demonstrate for or against the federal government without official fiat the Presidency has no power to stop any peaceful protest in the country.

“In fact, the right to assemble and protest peaceful was won by the Nigerian people in the case of All Nigerian People’s Party v Inspector-General of Police (2008) 12 WRN 65,” he stated.

Mr Falana noted that leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) had in 2014, held a protest against insecurity.

“It was in the exercise of the right of freedom of expression that APC leaders including General Mohammadu Buhari, Chief John Oyegun, Dr Sylvester Onu and Mr Rotimi Amaechi had participated in the protest held at Abuja on November 20, 2014, against insecurity under the erstwhile Jonathan administration.”

Amotekun: AGF’s Statement Is Clearly Diversionary And Hypocritical – Falana

 

Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mr. Femi Falana, has said that the Attorney General’s statement concerning Operation Amotekun is diversionary and hypocritical.

The human rights lawyer stated this while featuring as a guest on Channels Television’s Politics Today.

Falana said, “In this case, the statement credited to the Attorney General of the Federal Government is clearly diversionary and hypocritical. Hypocritical in the sense that the governments of Kano and Zamfara states have set up HISBAH Commission and just recently, the HISBAH operatives in Zamfara State arrested a police officer alleged to have been caught in the midst of three women.”

 

Speaking further, Falana noted that in the northeast zone, there is a civilian JTF made up of 26000 volunteers armed to assist the military in waging the counter-insurgence operations.

READ ALSO: FG Declares Operation Amotekun Illegal

Citing other examples, the rights activist stated that in Lagos state there is the neighborhood watch created by law, an organization that he argues is working and assisting the police to address security challenges in the state.

According to Falana, it is disturbing that the Attorney General of the Federal Government can say that his legal opinion was not sought, stressing that there is no constitutional nexus between the Attorney General of the Federal Government and the state governments in that each state of the Federal Republic has its own Attorney General.

He argued that to talk of the Attorney General of the Federation is a misnomer, a carry-over from the military era. Falana explained that Mr. Malami is the Attorney General of the Federal Government in Abuja while other states have their own Attorney Generals to advise the government.

Having said this, the Senior Advocate surmised that the AGF has no power to proscribe any organisation in Nigeria.

‘It Is Unlawful For Buhari’s Daughter To Use Presidential Jet For Private Affairs’ – Falana

 

 

Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mr. Femi Falana, has said that the private use of the Presidential Jet by members of President Buhari’s immediate family, is not in accordance with law. 

Falana in a statement on Sunday urged President Buhari to stop members of his family from using the aircraft within the presidential fleet.

The erudite scholar noted that the “official policy” of the federal government “does not authorise the children of the President to use the presidential jets to attend to private social functions”.

He added that there is no precedent whatsoever for such privatisation of the presidency of Nigeria.

Falana further stressed that at the inception of his government, President Buhari had promised to reduce the cost of maintaining aircraft in the presidential fleet, which according to him, stands at N8.5 billion in the 2020 budget.

“On October 27, 2016, the Presidency confirmed the newspaper reports of the planned sale of the two Presidential aircraft, a Falcon 7x executive jet and Hawker 4000.

“In a press statement issued by the Presidency through the President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu the Nigerian people were informed that President Buhari had directed that the aircraft in the Presidential air fleet be reduced to cut down on waste.

“The presidential spokesman reminded Nigerians that President Buhari was elected in 2015 on a commitment to crack down on the country’s systemic corruption, hence downsizing the outlandish presidential fleet had been among his campaign pledges.

“‘In particular, Mr. Shehu had said inter alia:

“‘When he campaigned to be President, the then APC candidate Muhammadu Buhari, if you recall, promised to look at the presidential air fleet with a view to cutting down on waste’.

“His directive to a government committee on this assignment is that he liked to see a compact and reliable aircraft for the safe airlift of the President, the Vice President, and other government officials that go on special missions.”

“President Buhari’s directive on the use of the presidential fleet which was adopted by the Federal Government was popularly acclaimed by Nigerians.

“Since then the national assembly has ensured that the annual Appropriation Bills enacted into law have made provision for the maintenance of the aircraft in the presidential fleet in line with the official policy.

“In the 2020 Appropriation Act the sum of N8.5 billion was earmarked for the maintenance of the aircraft in the presidential fleet,” Falana explained.

READ ALSO: Presidential Fleet Not For Hanan’s Photography Trip, PDP Tells Buhari

Falana went on to argue that when on January 10, 2020, one of the daughters of President Buhari was reported to have travelled from Abuja to Bauchi in a presidential jet for a private engagement, it was in utter breach of the official policy of the Federal Government.

Hanan Buhari, the president’s daughter, had flown in a presidential jet to Bauchi on Thursday for a private function.

Many Nigerians condemned the action, but the presidency defended it.

Mr. Garba Shehu, a presidential spokesman, said it is normal practice for the president’s family to use the presidential aircraft.

Reacting to the presidency’s claim, Falana stated that instead of apologising for the breach of the official policy, the Presidency has defended the use of the presidential jet for the private visit of a member of the first family.

He said the presidency is incorrect as it is at variance with the official policy of the Federal Government, adding that the official policy does not authorise the children of the President to use the presidential jets to attend to private social functions.

“In fact, there is no precedent whatsoever for such privatisation of the presidency of Nigeria. Having publicly declared that his administration would maintain “a compact and reliable aircraft for the safe airlift of the President, the Vice President and other government officials that go on special missions” President Buhari is estopped from allowing members of the first family to use the jets for their private affairs,” Falana opined.

The rights advocate stated that the so-called ‘normal practice’ of using the aircraft in the presidential fleet by members of the first family to attend to private engagements is not backed by any extant law or official policy.

According to Falana, the use of the aircraft in the presidential fleet by the Senate President, House Speaker and Chief Justice of Nigeria has not been approved by the Revenue Mobilisation and Fiscal Commission which is the statutory body empowered by the Constitution and the Revenue Mobilisation and Fiscal Commission Act to determine the remuneration and allowances of all political office holders in Nigeria.

The Senior Advocate was of the opinion that a country which is said to be the headquarters of the greatest number of poverty-stricken people in the world cannot afford to waste billions of Naira on the use of presidential aircraft and the hiring of commercial jets by state governors that are owing workers several months of unpaid salaries.

FG Should Stop Subjecting Sowore To Media Trial – Falana

 

 

Counsel to Mr Omoyele Sowore and human rights lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN) has asked the Federal Government to stop subjecting his client to a media trial. 

Mr Falana said it is embarrassing that the Federal Government which has found it difficult to prove its case in a competent court of law has resorted to the media trial of Sowore.

The rights activist said, even though the government has failed to engage in the diligent prosecution of the serious case, the Presidency has resorted to media trial while the charge of treasonable felony is allowed to hang menacingly on the heads of his clients.

Reacting to a statement by a presidential spokesperson, Mr. Garba Shehu claiming that “Sowore called for a revolution to overthrow the democratically elected government of Nigeria,” Mr Falana said he and his team are not going to be tempted to join issues with the Presidency over a case that is pending before a properly constituted court of law.

READ ALSO: Soyinka Criticizes DSS for Sowore’s Re-arrest

He said if the Presidency is so sure that his clients committed a treasonable felony or any other offence whatsoever it should keep its powder dry and advise the prosecution to commence the trial without any further delay.

Falana said it is common knowledge that Sowore and Bakare are not among the well-known merchants of violence and coup plotters that had successfully but illegally removed democratically elected governments in Nigeria his team is not going to join issues with Mr Garba Shehu over the highly contemptuous statements credited to him.

The Senior Advocate, however, argued that as a senior journalist Mr Shehu ought to have known that it is highly unprofessional to subject a man who is held incommunicado to scurrilous attacks in the media.

The lawyer stated that he is convinced that Sowore will have a right to reply once the fundamental rights of the Nigerian people are restored.

He noted that even though the allegations of terrorism and treasonable felony against Sowore had collapsed like a pack of cards the Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr Abubakar Malami SAN engaged in a face-saving measure by charging him (Sowore) and Olawale Bakare with a treasonable felony for planning to organise public protests against the Buhari administration.

Speaking further, Falana said that while not sure that the charge of a treasonable felony would succeed in the court the AGF proceeded to charge Sowore with money laundering and cyberstalking for allegedly insulting President Buhari in a television interview.

He stressed that while Sowore and his co-defendant have been held in custody even after being granted bails by competent courts, the organisers of the public protests which were held in Lagos, Ogun, Ondo, Cross River and Osun states who were charged with unlawful assembly, but have been discharged and the case dismissed following the no-case submission of the defence counsel, Mr Effiong Inibehe.

According to Mr Falana, the defendants in the other cases have been granted bail pending trial by the various Magistrate Courts.

“Having met the bail conditions they have regained their freedom,” he added.

He expressed optimism that his clients will also soon regain their freedom, stressing that his team is considering several legal actions following the rearrest.

DSS Does Not Necessarily Need Permission Of The President To Arrest Sowore – Presidency

 

 

The Presidency says the Department of State Services does not necessarily need the permission of President Muhammadu Buhari to arrest persons of interest like a detained activist, Mr. Omoyele Sowore.

This is according to a statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President, Garba Shehu.

In the statement, the president’s aide noted that the DSS does not necessarily need the permission of the Presidency in all cases to carry out its essential responsibilities that are laid down in the Nigerian Constitution – which was the foundation for the restoration of democracy in our country in 1999.

Mr. Shehu further stated that it should not surprise anyone who has followed Sowore’s actions and words that the Sahara Reporters Publisher is a person of interest to the DSS.

He said Sowore called for a revolution to overthrow the democratically elected government of Nigeria.

“He did so on television, and from a privileged position as the owner of a widely-read digital newspaper run from the United States of America.

“He founded an organisation, Revolution Now, to launch, in their own words, “Days of Rage”, with the publicised purpose of fomenting mass civil unrest and the elected administration’s overthrow,” Garba Shehu said.

READ ALSO: Sowore’s Rearrest: US Govt Calls For Respect For Rule Of Law

The President’s spokesman argued that no government will allow anybody to openly call for destabilization in the country and do nothing.

He further stressed that Mr. Sowore is no ordinary citizen expressing his views freely on social media and the internet.

“He was a presidential candidate himself, who ran – and lost – as the flag bearer of the African Action Congress (AAC) in the February 23 general elections.”

The presidency via its spokesman noted that Nigeria’s democracy was a long time in the making and was achieved after decades of often harsh, military-led overthrows of government: the kind of situation which he claims Mr. Sowore was advocating.

He said, “To believe in and desire an armed revolution is not normal amongst ‘human rights activists’, as Sowore has been incorrectly described.

“Again, it is no surprise that he should be a person of interest to the DSS.

“Nigeria is already dealing with an insurgency that has left millions of people displaced and desperate in the northeastern region of our country.

“The Boko Haram militants, who are behind the violence, also fancy themselves to be fighting for some sort of revolution.

“Nigerians do not need another spate of lawlessness and loss of lives all in the name of ‘revolution’, especially not one that is orchestrated by a man who makes his home in faraway New York – and who can easily disappear and leave behind whatever instability he intends to cause, to wit, Nnamdi Kanu.”

Mr. Shehu in his concluding argument said the Sowore case is a matter for the DSS, acting under its powers.

Sowore’s Rearrest: ‘This Has Never Happened Before’, Falana Slams DSS

 

Lead Counsel and human rights lawyer, Femi Falana has criticised the Department of State Security Services (DSS) for rearresting his clients, Mr. Omoyele Sowore and Olawale Bakare at a Federal High Court in Abuja, barely 24 hours after their release from DSS custody.

Mr. Sowore and his co-accused, Mr. Bakare, were released on Thursday night, following an order given by Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu who gave the security agency a 24-hour ultimatum to effect the bail order earlier issued.

Mr. Falana who spoke to Channels Television on Friday stressed that the DSS had said they were inviting the duo for questioning at their office to answer a few questions on fresh charges, but are yet to disclose what they are.

“The atmosphere was very rowdy, but I insisted that the arrest could not be carried out within the precinct of the court. He was going to be arrested outside the premises but there was a crowd that resisted the arrest, but I appealed to everybody and asked Sowore to jump into my car and so we drove to the office of the SSS because they said he will just answer a few questions, but now he is being detained.

“We are going to take steps under the law by asking for his release again since they are claiming this is a fresh arrest.

“Nobody has disclosed yet what his charges are; he couldn’t have committed any other offence because he has been detained for the past four months unless the SSS wants to tell the whole world that he committed this fresh offence while in their custody,” he stressed.

RELATED: VIDEO: Sowore Accuses DSS Of Trying To Assassinate Him

He also narrated the build-up to Sowore and Bakare’s rearrest, expressing dismay at the actions of the DSS.

“This morning, the SSS lawyers and the lawyers of the Attorney-General reported to the court that the order of the court had been complied with and I confirmed because our clients were released last night.

“As soon as the court adjourned the matter to February next year, the SSS operatives pounced on the court, disrupted proceeding and then attempted to arrest our clients even in the web of the court, that was extremely embarrassing because it has never happened in Nigeria where you enter a court to arrest anybody, even an alleged coup plotter.”

Mr. Sowore and Mr Bakare who were released at about 7:15 pm on Thursday are facing seven counts bordering on conspiracy to commit treasonable felony, money laundering and cybercrimes, amongst others.

They were arrested on August 3, days before a planned #RevolutionNow protest against “bad governance” in the country.