We Released Sowore, Dasuki On Compassionate Grounds, Says Malami

 

The Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, has explained that the release of a former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, and Sahara Reporters publisher, Omoyele Sowore, from detention was due to the Federal Government having compassion for the duo.

Dasuki spent more than four years in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS) while Sowore, the convener of #RevolutionNow protests, was held for almost five months.

According to a statement by the AGF spokesman Dr. Umar Gwandu on Friday, who quoted Mr Malami in an interview with the BBC Hausa and the Hausa Service of the Voice of America, the reason for the release of Dasuki and Sowore owes also to the commitment to the rule of law, obedience to court orders.

READ ALSO: Decision To Detain Dasuki, Sowore Despite Court Orders Backed By Law, Presidency Insists

He stated that both men had multiple options after the court ruling, either to appeal or review the order.

“The only reasons for the release of Omoyele Sowore and Sambo Dasuki revolved around our commitment to the rule of law, obedience to court orders and compassionate grounds.

“It is important to understand the fact that as far as the law is concerned and in relation to the Nigerian justice system, one has multiple options after a court has ruled on a matter.

the right to appeal the said ruling, the right to ask the same court that issued an order to vary or review the terms of the order as well as the right to request for Stay of Execution of the order pending the hearing and determination of an appeal in that matter.”

Mr Malami denied the claim that his office received any formal communication from any American Senator on the matter, stating that it was not due to any domestic or international pressure on the Federal Government.

He maintained that FG has the right to keep detaining the suspects while challenging the order admitting them to bail up to the apex court.

“Even if we received any communication from them that will never be the basis on the part of the Federal Government to obey or disobey court orders emanating from Nigeria.

“The critical question that you may ask should be whether there is a strong suspicion of committing an offence or not. If there is a strong suspicion of committing an offence which deserved, as a matter of necessity, to be investigated through legal steps then there was no room for thinking of witch-hunting an individual, scoring acrimonies or personal vendetta against anyone.

The AGF stressed that Dasuki and Sowore can now enjoy bail based on the merit of their individual cases.

“The time has now come for Sambo Dasuki and Omoyele Sowore to also enjoy bail based on the merit of their individual cases. They were charged based on their individual cases, taken to court, granted bail and now have been released. All the individuals involved were treated fairly and justly; they were taken to court, enjoyed the court’s favourable discretion and they were all released,” he said.

Decision To Detain Dasuki, Sowore Despite Court Orders Backed By Law, Presidency Insists

Omoyele Sowore                                                                                                                    Sambo Dasuki

 

 

The Presidency has insisted that the Federal Government’s decision to hold Colonel Sambo Dasuki (rtd) and Mr Omoyele Sowore did not go against the laws of the land.

Dasuki, a former National Security Adviser (NSA), spent more than four years in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS) while Sowore, the convener of #RevolutionNow protests, was held for almost five months.

Defending the position of the government on the prolonged detention of the duo, a presidential spokesman, Mr Garba Shehu, stressed that the government has always obeyed the orders of the court.

He, however, clarified that Dasuki and Sowore remained in detention on the advice of the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Mr Abubakar Malami.


RELATED
DSS Releases Omoyele Sowore
Sambo Dasuki Released After Over Four Years In Detention


 

A Right To Appeal

“The Attorney General of the Federation who is the chief law officer, as far as the government is concerned, has convinced everyone and the government inclusive that there is a basis for their continued detention because the individual right must not undermine the collective right,” the President’s media aide told Channels Television on Wednesday in an interview on Politics Today.

He added, “The Attorney General of the Federation has explained the position of the government. If you like call it a new leaf, if you like accept the fact that the government has a renewed determination to show the example of how the court should be treated even when you are feeling aggrieved.

“In this particular case, the government has its own right as to how and why the bail was given, and an intention to appeal.”

“However, the government is saying, ‘let us do this to show respect for the court of the land so that all of this thing about the lack of respect for due process will just give us a chance and leave the table for now,” Shehu stressed.

The convener of #RevolutionNow protests, Mr Omoyele Sowore, celebrates as he departs the DSS office in Abuja on December 24, 2019. Photo: Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

 

 

Dasuki was arrested in December 2015 over allegations of diverting $2.1billion arms funds while Sowore was charged along with his co-defendant, Olawale Bakare, with counts of treasonable felony and money laundering among others.

The defendants have since pleaded not guilty and were granted bail by various courts.

 

A Sudden U-Turn

Following widespread outrage over the continued detention of the former NSA and the #RevolutionNow protests convener, the AGF ordered the DSS to release the duo on Christmas eve.

But President Muhammadu Buhari’s spokesman argued that the sudden U-turn by the government has nothing to do with pressure from any individual or group.

According to him, the AGF made it clear over time that there is a major principle of the law which says that the rights of a majority and that of a community under threat override the rights of an individual.

Shehu added that the minister took the case to a conference of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), adding that it was underscored by a major decision of the Supreme Court.

He stressed that it was a major principle to sacrifice the freedom of an individual for that of a larger community when the need arises, pointing out the case of Dasuki and Sowore.

Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu speaks about Sowore and Dasuki’s release. (file photo).

 

No Compromise

The presidential aide, however, said there was a need for those granted bail not to misinterpret their release as an acquittal but abide with the terms upon with the bail was granted.

“The government is not compromising anything but the government wants to set an example of the obedience of the law even when it disagrees with what the court says it should do,” the President’s aide clarified, adding, “The government has a position on the non-release founded in the laws of the country.”

“The Attorney General of the Federation is convinced that their continued detention did not breach the laws of the country; that it is consistent with the laws and the adjudication of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.

“Our understanding is that he (AGF) believes that the decision to keep them there was strongly founded in the law and so, therefore, it is not something that is extra-judicial,” he said.

Sowore: Though FG Disagrees With Court Ruling, We Want To Set An Example – Presidency

The Presidency has reacted to the release of the Convener of the Revolution Now protest, Mr. Omoyele Sowore and a former National Security Adviser, Mr. Sambo Dasuki by the Department of State Service (DSS).

While Dasuki was arrested in December 2015, Sowore was rearrested on December 5 after his initial arrest on August 5.

Although both men regained their freedom yesterday, the Attorney General of Justice and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, said the release was in compliance with subsisting court orders.

But speaking during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Wednesday, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Garba Shehu, said the President Muhammadu Buhari administration ordered their release despite not agreeing to the verdict of the court.

READ ALSO: Nigerian Govt Orders Release Of Sowore, Dasuki

Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu speaks on Sowore and Dasuki’s release. (file photo).

According to him, the act by the Federal Government was to set an important example that to the world that it adheres to the rule of law.

“The government is not compromising anything. The government wants to set an important example of obedience to the law even when you disagree with what the court says you should do,” he said.

When asked to clarify some comments reportedly credited to them that there are some cabals in the current administration, the presidential spokesman accused Nigerians of coining the word.

He recalled that when ex-President Goodluck Jonathan was in power, people also accused his government of being controlled by cabals.

“When Mr Jonathan was in office, wasn’t it said that he had a cabal? When President Yar’adua was in office, wasn’t it said that he had a cabal?

“So what we are saying is that Nigerians have formed the practice by labelling people that are in an advisable position of the President as a cabal,” he said.

Sowore: We Won’t Allow Troublemakers To Incite Nigerians, Presidency Warns

Garba Shehu                                                                                                                      Omoyele Sowore

 

 

The Presidency has insisted that the Muhammadu Buhari administration will not allow any individual or group to incite the public.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu, stated this in a Facebook post on Wednesday while clarifying the controversy trailing the arrest of Mr Omoyele Sowore.

Shehu stressed that Sowore, the publisher of online news platform Sahara Reporters, was not arrested as a journalist but for calling for a revolution.

According to him, some international news outlets have been making mistake by describing the release of the #RevolutionNow movement convener as that of a journalist.


RELATED
DSS Releases Omoyele Sowore
Sambo Dasuki Released After Over Four Years In Detention


The presidential aide said, “For the avoidance of doubt, the Buhari administration has never, since coming into office in 2015, detained a journalist, seized copies of newspapers or shut down a medium of information.”

“No government will allow anybody to openly call for destabilisation in the country and do nothing.

“The government believes strictly in observing the rule of law but must safeguard public security and will not allow troublemakers to incite the public and cause a breakdown of law and order,” he added.

The president’s spokesman accused the activist of calling for a revolution to overthrow the democratically elected government of Nigeria.

Sowore, according to him, did so on television and from a privileged position as the owner of a widely-read digital newspaper run from the United States.

“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,” Shehu alleged.

He made the clarification a day after the Sahara Reporters publisher left the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS) after being held for almost five months.

The DSS released Sowore on Tuesday following the directive of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami.

Malami gave the directive for Sowore’s release, as well as that of former National Security Adviser (NSA), Colonel Sambo Dasuki (rtd), who has spent over four years in DSS custody.

The DSS arrested Sowore, the publisher of online media outfit Sahara Reporters, on August 3.

Sowore and his co-defendant, Olawale Bakare, are standing trial on a 16-count bordering on treasonable felony and money laundering amongst other charges.

They have since pleaded not guilty and were granted bail in the sum of N100 million and N30 million respectively.

The DSS had refused to release them on bail even after they met their bail application, forcing Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu to issue a 24-hour order for their release.

Sowore and Bakare were later released on December 5, but the Sahara Reporters publisher was rearrested barely 24 hours after by the DSS.

Read Garba Shehu’s post below:

Dasuki, Sowore’s Release: Falana Asks FG To Free El-Zakzaky, Wife, Others

Omoyele Sowore                                                        Femi Falana                                     Sambo Dasuki

 

 

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) and human rights activist, Mr Femi Falana, has noted the release of his client and convener of #RevolutionNow protests, Mr Omoyele Sowore, as well as former National Security Adviser (NSA), Colonel Sambo Dasuki (rtd).

In a statement on Tuesday, Falana confirmed the directive of the Federal Government to the Department of State Services (DSS) to release the duo in line with the orders of the court.

He also acknowledged that the government has since complied with the court order regarding Sowore’s co-accused, Olawale Bakare, saying only the #RevolutionNow protests convener was rearrested after the drama which played out on December 6 at the Federal High Court in Abuja.


RELATED
DSS Releases Omoyele Sowore
Sambo Dasuki Released After Over Four Years In Detention


The Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Mr Abubakar Malami, had ordered the DSS to release Sowore and Dasuki, saying the decision was in compliance with the bail granted the two men by the court.

“Since the (Muhammadu) Buhari administration has now embraced the rule of law, Mr Malami should ensure that the valid and subsisting orders of all courts are obeyed in accordance with section 287 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” said Falana.

The senior advocate also called for the release of the leader of the Islamic movement in Nigeria (IMN), Ibraheem Elzakzaky, and his wife, Zeinat, who were arrested in December 2015, as well as others he described as political detainees and criminal suspects still in detention.

Read the full statement below:

ON THE RELEASE OF SOWORE AND DASUKI ON BAIL

We have confirmed that the Federal Government has decided to comply with the orders of some municipal and regional courts for the release of Mr Omoyele Sowore and Colonel Sambo Dasuki (rtd).

With respect to Mr Olawale Bakare he was not rearrested like Mr Sowore. So, the order of the Federal High Court for his release on bail was complied with by the State Security Service on December 5, 2019.

However, we call on the Federal Government to release other political detainees and criminal suspects in line with valid and subsisting orders of courts.

In particular, we request the Federal Government to liaise with the Kaduna State government to withdraw the charge filed against Sheikh Ibraheem Elzakzaky and his wife, Mrs Zeinat Elzakzaky who have been detained since December 14, 2015.

The Federal High Court had on December 2, 2016 declared the detention of the couple illegal and unconstitutional and ordered the Federal Government to release them from custody forthwith.

Apart from awarding them reparation of N50 million, the Federal High Court also ordered the Federal Government to provide them with a temporary accommodation since the Nigerian Army had destroyed their family house in Zaria.

However, in a bid to stop the protests of the Shiites who were demanding for the release of their leaders on the basis of the orders of the Federal High Court, the Federal Government asked the Kaduna State government to arraign the couple in the Kaduna State High Court.

Even though they have been charged with procuring certain persons to kill a soldier, the Kaduna State High Court has since discharged and acquitted the persons allegedly procured by the Elzakzakys to kill the said soldier.

By ordering the release of Colonel Dasuki pursuant to the orders of courts, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami (SAN), has jettisoned the reactionary position that national security takes precedence over the rule of law.

Since the Buhari administration has now embraced the rule of law, Mr Malami should ensure that the valid and subsisting orders of all courts are obeyed in accordance with section 287 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Femi Falana SAN.

VIDEO: Sowore Thanks Nigerians, Says Nobody Can Take Them For Granted

 

The convener of #RevolutionNow protests, Mr Omoyele Sowore, has thanked Nigerians following his departure from the custody of the Department of State Service (DSS).

Addressing some supporters in Abuja on his way from the DSS office, Sowore believes Nigerians prevailed on the Federal Government to release him.

He also called on the people not to relent in their resolve to ensure a better Nigeria for their children and more generations to come.

“The only thing is to thank Nigerians, they made this happen they should not relent,” said the activists while exchanging pleasantries from a group of youths in the Federal Capital Territory.

He added, “Nobody can take the people who are deserving for granted. Merry Christmas to Nigerians.”

This comes hours after the Federal Government ordered the DSS to release the activist, as well as the former National Security Adviser (NSA), Colonel Sambo Dasuki (rtd).

After regaining his freedom, Sowore was escorted out of the Headquarters of the Service by Mr Abubakar Marshal, a lawyer from the chambers of Mr Femi Falana.

The DSS arrested Sowore, the publisher of online media outfit Sahara Reporters, on August 3.

He is standing trial alongside his co-defendant, Olawale Bakare, on 16 counts bordering on treasonable felony and money laundering amongst other charges.

They have since pleaded not guilty and were granted bail in the sum of N100 million and N30 million respectively.

The DSS had refused to release them on bail even after they met their bail application, forcing Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu to issue a 24-hour order for their release.

Sowore and Bakare were later released on December 5, but the Sahara Reporters publisher was rearrested barely 24 hours after by the DSS.

See photos of the Sowore’s release below:

The convener of #RevolutionNow protests, Mr Omoyele Sowore, celebrates as he departs the DSS office in Abuja on December 24, 2019. Photos: Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

 

The convener of #RevolutionNow protests, Mr Omoyele Sowore, celebrates as he departs the DSS office in Abuja on December 24, 2019. Photos: Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

DSS Releases Omoyele Sowore


The Department of State Services (DSS) has released the convener of #RevolutionNow protests, Mr Omoyele Sowore.

This comes hours after the Federal Government ordered the DSS to release the activist, as well as the former National Security Adviser (NSA), Colonel Sambo Dasuki (rtd).

After regaining his freedom, Sowore was escorted out of the Headquarters of the Service by Mr Abubakar Marshal, a lawyer from the chambers of Mr Femi Falana.


Freedom At Last: Omoyele Sowore Leaves DSS Custody (PHOTOS)

 


As he departed from the DSS office, the activist chanted ‘revolution now and forever’, and wished Nigerians a Merry Christmas.

The DSS arrested Sowore, the publisher of online media outfit Sahara Reporters, on August 3.

Sowore and his co-defendant, Olawale Bakare, are standing trial on a 16-count bordering on treasonable felony and money laundering amongst other charges.

They have since pleaded not guilty and were granted bail in the sum of N100 million and N30 million respectively.

The DSS had refused to release them on bail even after they met their bail application, forcing Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu to issue a 24-hour order for their release.

Sowore and Bakare were later released on December 5, but the Sahara Reporters publisher was rearrested barely 24 hours after by the DSS.

 

See more photos below:

The convener of #RevolutionNow protests, Mr Omoyele Sowore, celebrates as he departs the DSS office in Abuja on December 24, 2019. Photos: Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

 

The convener of #RevolutionNow protests, Mr Omoyele Sowore, celebrates as he departs the DSS office in Abuja on December 24, 2019. Photo: Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

Freedom At Last: Omoyele Sowore Leaves DSS Custody (PHOTOS)

 

 

It is freedom at last for Mr Omoyele Sowore as he departs the office of the Department of State Service (DSS) in Abuja.

The convener of #RevolutionNow protests regained his freedom from the DSS custody on the directive of the Federal Government.

He was released moments after the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Mr Abubakar Malami, ordered the DSS to release Sowore and the former National Security Adviser (NSA), Colonel Sambo Dasuki (rtd).

Malami explained that the decision to release them was in compliance with the bail granted the two by the court.

Sowore was received by a group of supporters and one Mr Abubakar Marshal, a lawyer from the chambers of Mr Femi Falana.

As he departed from the DSS office, the activist chanted ‘revolution now and forever’, and wished Nigerians a Merry Christmas.

See photos of the Sowore’s release below:

The convener of #RevolutionNow protests, Mr Omoyele Sowore, celebrates as he departs the DSS office in Abuja on December 24, 2019. Photos: Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

 

The convener of #RevolutionNow protests, Mr Omoyele Sowore, celebrates as he departs the DSS office in Abuja on December 24, 2019. Photos: Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

UPDATED: Nigerian Govt Orders Release Of Sowore, Dasuki

Omoyele Sowore                                                                                                                   Sambo Dasuki

 

 

The Nigerian Government has ordered the release of former National Security Adviser (NSA), Colonel Sambo Dasuki (rtd), and the convener of #RevolutionNow protests, Mr Omoyele Sowore.

The Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami, announced this in a statement on Tuesday.

Malami said the decision to release them was in compliance with the bail granted the two by the court.

READ ALSO: Ensure Your Source Of Information Cut Across, Buhari Tells US Envoy

The statement reads:

“The office of the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation has reviewed the pending criminal charges against the duo of Colonel Sambo Dasuki (rtd.) and Omoyele Sowore.

“Whilst the Federal High Court has exercised its discretion in granting bail to the defendants in respect of the charges against them, I am also not unmindful of the right of the complainant/prosecution to appeal or further challenge the grant of bail by the court having regards to extant legal provisions, particularly Section 169 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015.

“However, my office has chosen to comply with the court orders while considering the pursuit of its rights of appeal and/or review of the order relating to the bail as granted or varied by the courts.

“In line with the provisions of Sections 150(1) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), and in compliance with the bail granted to Colonel Sambo Dasuki (Rtd) (as recently varied by the Court of Appeal) and the bail granted to Omoyele Sowore, I have directed the State Security Services to comply with the order granting bail to the Defendants and effect their release.

“The two defendants are enjoined to observe the terms of their bail and refrain from engaging in any act that is inimical to public peace and national security as well as their ongoing trial which will run its course in accordance with the laws of the land.

“I wish to reiterate again the utmost regard of my office for the entire judicial structure of Nigeria.

“This administration remains unrelenting in deepening the rule of law and the administration of justice in general.”

Freedom At Last

Dasuki has been in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS) for over four years while Sowore was taken into custody since August 2019.

Both men would celebrate Christmas with their loved ones, provided they are released by the DSS as ordered by the Attorney-General of the Federation.

Dasuki was arrested in December 2015 over an allegation of diverting $2.1billion arms funds while serving as the National Security Adviser during the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.

He was arraigned in court and was granted bail with certain conditions, but the Federal Government refused to release him in disobedience to the court order.

On July 14, 2019, the Court of Appeal in Abuja declared the continued detention of the former NSA since December 29, 2015, by the DSS as illegal, unlawful, and unconstitutional.

The appellate court held that the DSS and its Director-General acted outside their constitutional powers on the long period of the detention of a Nigerian citizen and imposed a fine of N5 million on them to be paid to Dasuki as compensation for breach of his fundamental right.

Four months later and in view of his continued detention, the Court of Appeal varied the terms attached to the bail earlier granted the former NSA.

It expunged the requirement that Dasuki should produce a Level 16 civil servant who must own a property worth N100million within the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) as surety.

Rather, the court ordered that the former NSA produce two sureties with properties worth N100 million within the FCT.

On the other hand, the DSS arrested Sowore, the publisher of online media outfit Sahara Reporters, on August 3.

The activist was arraigned along with his co-defendant, Mr Olawale Bakare, on counts bordering on treasonable felony and money laundering among others but they denied the charges.

Both men were also held by the security agency despite the order of the court granting them bail, but the DSS insisted that it did not disobey the court.

Sowore and Bakare were later released on December 5, but the Sahara Reporters publisher was rearrested barely 24 hours after by the DSS.

Why We Ordered Release Of Sowore, Dasuki – FG

 

 

The Federal Government has revealed that the order to the Department of State Security Service (DSS) to release the duo of Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd.) and Omoyele Sowore is in compliance with the bail granted to them by the Federal High Court.

In a statement signed personally by the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, the DSS has been directed to comply with the order granting bail.

READ ALSO: Ensure Your Source Of Information Cut Across, Buhari Tells US Envoy

See full statement below:

PRESS STATEMENT

RELEASE OF COL. SAMBO DASUKI (RTD.) AND OMOYELE SOWORE

The Office of the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation has reviewed the pending criminal charges against the duo of Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd.) and Omoyele Sowore.

Whilst the Federal High Court has exercised its discretion in granting bail to the Defendants in respect of the charges against them, I am also not unmindful of the right of the Complainant/Prosecution to appeal or further challenge the grant of bail by the court having regards to extant legal provisions, particularly Section 169 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015.

However, my Office has chosen to comply with the court orders while considering the pursuit of its rights of appeal and/or review of the order relating to the bail as granted or varied by the courts.

In line with the provisions of Sections 150(1) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), and in compliance with the bail granted to Col. Sambo Dasuki (Rtd) (as recently varied by the Court of Appeal) and the bail granted to Omoyele Sowore, I have directed the State Security Services to comply with the order granting bail to the Defendants and effect their release.

The two Defendants are enjoined to observe the terms of their bail and refrain from engaging in any act that is inimical to public peace and national security as well as their ongoing trial which will run its course in accordance with the laws of the land.

I wish to reiterate again the utmost regard of my Office for the entire judicial structure of Nigeria. This administration remains unrelenting in deepening the rule of law and the administration of justice in general.

SIGNED

ABUBAKAR MALAMI, SAN

VIDEO: Deji Adeyanju Beaten Up As Sowore Supporters, Group Clash Despite Police Presence

 

 

One would not find it so difficult to realise why popular activist, Deji Adeyanju, was among the top Twitter trends on Monday.

Could it be because he shared a picture of ‘pap and akara’ with a caption “Breakfast Before Aluta” earlier in the day? No.

The activist became one of the most talked-about topics on the social network because he was beaten up by a group of young men during protests by supporters of the convener of #RevolutionNow movement, Mr Omoyele Sowore, and another group of protesters in Abuja.

 

The clash occurred in the presence of some police personnel outside the Headquarters of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in the Federal Capital Territory.

This took place after the pro-Sowore supporters demanded the release of the activist while the other group of protesters staged the demonstration in support of his continued detention.

The other group then attacked the pro-Sowore protesters who were at the commission to submit a petition against the Federal Government.

Television’s correspondent confirmed that the attack occurred in the full view of the police who had to eventually intervene to restore calm.

The security operatives later made some arrests.

A civil rights group, the Enough Is Enough movement, had given a 14-day ultimatum to the Federal Government to release Sowore or face nationwide protests.

Watch the video below:

Judge Recuses Self From Sowore’s Case Amid Allegations Of Bias

 

Justice Ahmed Muhammed has recused himself from hearing any suit concerning the convener of the #RevolutionNow protests, Mr Omoyele Sowore.

The judge made the declaration on Monday at the Federal High Court in Abuja, saying he took the decision as a result of two publications by online news platform, Sahara Reporters accusing him of bias.

He added that he would return the case file to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court on the grounds that justice is rooted in confidence.

Justice Muhammed stressed that there have been issues with the news outfit in the past, insisting that it would only be right if he hands off the case.

Mr Sowore had instituted the fundamental rights enforcement suit before the court, seeking an order for his release from the custody of the Department of State Service (DSS).

There has been no fresh charge instituted against Sowore since he was rearrested by DSS operatives on December 6, barely 24 hours after he was released from the agency’s detention lasting over months.

But Justice Mohammed ruled that he could not hear Sowore’s case, saying it was the fair, just and proper thing to do in view of the previous publications by Sahara Reporters, accusing him of taking a bribe to influence the outcome of the case.

The case in question is the trial of a former governor of Benue State, Senator Gabriel Suswam, who is now being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) before another judge of the court, Justice Okon Abang.

Justice Mohammed noted that the reports by Sahara Reporters in 2016 and 2019 made him withdraw from the ex-governor’s trial.

He recalled that when the first report was published in 2016, he was prevailed upon by the prosecution and defence teams to continue with the case.

The judge said on continuing with the case, a similar report was published in June this year.

He said the incident put him in a situation whereby if he ruled in favour of Sowore, it could be perceived as having been blackmailed by the activist to so rule.

Justice Mohammed explained that in the event that he ruled against the activist, he could be perceived as being vengeful.

“Justice is rooted in confidence,” he said, adding, “That is to say none of the parties should be afraid or apprehensive that he will not get justice before a court.”

The judge then ordered that the case file be sent back to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice John Tsoho, for reassignment to another judge.