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.

Human Rights Lawyer, Falana, Sues CBN Over Exchange Rate

Femi-FalanaHuman rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), has asked the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja to restrain the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) from allowing market forces to determine the exchange rate of the naira.

The Senior Advocate of Nigeria also asked the court to direct the CBN to stop the use of the United States dollar as a legal tender in Nigeria.

The suit was filed on Wednesday, 24 February 2016 and is yet to be assigned to a judge for hearing.

In the suit, Mr Falana, alleged that the CBN’s monetary policy had led to a situation where too much naira was made to chase a few dollars with an attendant weaker naira and adverse multiplier effects such as rising inflation, closure of factories and high level of unemployment.

He also alleged that the CBN had so “dollarised the economy” that the foreign currency had now become legal tender with school fees and rents now being charged and paid in dollars to the detriment of the economy.

The Senior Advocate wants the court to make a declaration that by virtue of Section 16 of the CBN Act 2007, the CBN shall fix and determine the exchange rate of the naira by a suitable mechanism devised for that purpose.

PHCN Claims Property Forfeited By Cecilia Ibru

Five staff of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) on Wednesday urged the Appeal Court in Lagos to halt their ejection from a PHCN property forfeited to the federal government by former Managing Director of Oceanic Bank, Mrs. Cecilia Ibru.

The workers, in a notice of appeal, faulted Justice Okechukwu Okeke of the Federal High Court in Lagos for refusing to vacate his earlier order granting leave to the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) to take over the property.

Mrs. Ibru forfeited N191 billion worth of assets to the federal government as part of the plea-bargain arrangement following her conviction over corrupt practices in the bank.

AMCON had on March 6, 2013 forcefully ejected the PHCN workers from the property, which is located at 5A George Street, Ikoyi Lagos.

The PHCN workers, through their lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN), had urged Justice Okeke to vacate the order on the ground that it was obtained by AMCON through fraud and suppression of material fact.

Mr. Falana had contended that the said property allegedly acquired by Mrs. Ibru, was at all times, the property of PHCN and so, Mrs Ibru had no right to forfeit the property to the federal government.

The workers are: Afolabi Dada, Charles Amadi, Lawan Muhammad, Comfort Odili-Iwuafor and Anthony Abikoye.

But Justice Okeke refused to vacate the order, saying it had already been executed, and as such he could not undue a completed act.

Dissatisfied, Mr. Falana and the plaintiffs approached the Appeal Court where they stressed that Justice Okeke erred in law, because there were exhibits before him to show that the ejection order was obtained by fraud.

Claiming that there were three pending suits on the subject matter, Mr. Falana urged the appellate court to stay further execution of the order, and also restrain AMCON and Deputy Sheriff of the Federal High Court from demolishing the property.

Prior to the filing of the appeal, Mr. Falana had also filed a motion before the lower court seeking for leave to appeal against the ruling and stay of execution.

AMCON’s alleged fraud

Mr. Falana, while arguing the motion for vacation of the ejection order, had told Justice Okeke that AMCON acted fraudulently when it obtained a court order which granted it leave to seal up the plaintiffs’ premises.

He also argued that while the ownership of the said property was still the subject of a pending litigation before the court, involving AMCON, the respondent had gone behind closed doors to obtain an order to levy execution on the property.

He told the court that in 2010, when a forfeiture order was made by Justice Daniel Abutu, to relinquish the said property to AMCON, the applicant filed a similar suit, seeking to set aside that forfeiture order.

Mr. Falana argued that despite AMCON’s knowledge of the pending suit before the court, it still went ahead to obtain an order to seal up the premises.

He told the court that the act of the respondent was fraudulent and should be set aside.

AMCON’s lawyer, Felix Azu (SAN) while responding to Mr. Falana’s argument, stressed that when the order for forfeiture was made, the applicants neither appealed the decision nor applied for a stay of execution of the order.

Mr. Azu said that by their inaction, they had represented that they had no intention to challenge the order.

He said that although the applicants had filed a suit to set aside the order made by Justice Abutu, the respondent was privy to that suit as no appeal had been made against the positive order of the court granted them.