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.

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.

Malami Cannot Wash His Hands Off Sowore’s Detention, Says Falana

 

Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN), has insisted that the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami SAN, cannot wash his hands off with respect to the illegal detention of Omoyele Sowore by the Department of State Security Service (DSS) contrary to an earlier position.

Mr. Malami In a statement on Monday said that the Federal Government is guided by extant laws and tradition of the law in handling legal matters and related litigations.

In response, Mr Falana who is the legal representative of Mr Sowore, convener of the #RevolutionNow movement, stressed that since Mr Malami took over the criminal case from the DSS, he is deemed to possess “the constitutional powers in full and the responsibility for any decision thereupon rests solely on him.”

RELATED: Falana Writes AGF, Requests Sowore’s Release

Sowore: FG Will Not Take Unilateral Decision – Malami

Mr Falana who had written to the AGF, to direct the DSS to release Sowore on bail, in compliance with the order of the trial judge, the Honourable Justice Ifeoma Ojukwu, stated that Mr Malami needs to take cognizance of the legal implications of taking over a pending criminal case in exercise of the powers of an Attorney-General under the common law and the Constitution.

“Since Mr. Malami has taken over the case of FRN v Sowore v Another he is deemed to possess “the constitutional powers in full and the responsibility for any decision thereupon rests solely on him. Therefore, he cannot like Pontius Pilate wash off his hands with respect to the illegal detention of Sowore by the State Security Service.

“Furthermore, since section 287 of the Constitution has imposed a legal obligation on all authorities and persons in Nigeria to comply with the decisions of all competent courts the Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr Malami is duty-bound to direct the State Security Service to release Sowore on bail in compliance with the valid and subsisting order of the federal high court.”

While quoting the AGF in his response, Mr. Falana reiterated and called for the release of Mr Sowore.

“In the said statement the Attorney-General stated that ‘When parties submit their issues for determination to a court of law, they lack exclusivity of decision over such issues without recourse to the court. We remain guided by the established tradition and will not take a unilateral decision without recourse to the rule of law’.

“We fully agree with the Attorney-General because he has stated the law correctly.  On the basis of the legal principle, we are compelled to call on the Attorney-General to reverse the “unilateral decision” of the State Security Service to continue to incarcerate Sowore ‘without recourse to law’.

“Having taken over the prosecution of the case pursuant to section 174 of the Constitution the Attorney-General should not hesitate to direct the State Security Service to release Sowore without any further delay.”

Sowore’s Detention: UK Govt Asks FG To Respect Rule Of Law

 

The United Kingdom has said it is closely following the continued detention of Convener of the #RevolutionNow movement, Omoyele Sowore while calling on the Nigerian government to respect the fundamentals for democracy.

Mr. Sowore was rearrested by operatives of the Department of State Security Service (DSS) on Friday at a Federal High Court in Abuja, a situation that has sparked reactions from many.

The British High Commission in Nigeria, in a tweet, called for the respect for the rule of law, stating that the ideals set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights should be upheld.

“As we celebrate #HumanRightsDay, we encourage all political, state and non-state actors to uphold the ideals set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, signed 71 years ago today.

“We are following closely the continued detention of #Sowore. Respect for the rule of law and free and responsible speech is fundamental for #democracy.

“The UK is committed to defending and strengthening human rights worldwide and, as we conclude #16DaysofActivism2019, working to end gender-based violence.”

The UK is committed to defending and strengthening human rights worldwide and, as we conclude #16DaysofActivism2019, working to end gender-based violence.

The Federal Government had filed a seven-count bordering on treasonable felony and money laundering against the former presidential candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC) in September.

READ ALSO: Buhari Appoints CBN Deputy Gov, Edward Adamu, As AMCON Chairman

#RevolutionNow Protest, Arrest And Detention

Mr. Sowore who has been very critical of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, called for a series of planned protests against bad governance in the country in August, tagged #RevolutionNow.

He was however arrested by the DSS in Lagos.

Spokesman of the commission, Peter Afunaya, said that the DSS acted within its constitutional powers to arrest and detain the activist for threatening the unity and peaceful co-existence of Nigeria.

Mr. Afunaya added that the call for revolution poses a national security threat.

The DSS filed an application at the Abuja division of the Federal High Court, to detain Mr. Sowore for 90 days, pending the conclusion of its investigation.

Justice Taiwo Taiwo however granted the DSS, 45 days to detain Mr Sowore, informing the security agency that they can return to court to ask for more days.

Meanwhile, Mr Sowore challenged the court order in an application on the premise that it breached the fundamental rights provision of the 1999 constitution, after being in detention illegally for an initial four days before the ex-parte order was granted.

The Federal Government finally filed a seven-count bordering on treasonable felony and money laundering against Mr Sowore and Olawale Bakare, also known as mandate, a day before the expiration of the detention order on September 21.

The prosecution accused Mr Sowore and his co-defendant of conspiracy to commit treasonable felony in breach of section 516 of the Criminal Code Act by allegedly staging “a revolution campaign on September 5, 2019 aimed at removing the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria”.

The prosecution is also accusing them of committing the actual offence of reasonable felony in breach of section, 4(1)(c) of the Criminal Code Act, by using the platform of Coalition for Revolution, in August 2019 in Abuja, Lagos and other parts of Nigeria, to stage the #RevolutionNow protest allegedly aimed at removing the President.

The government further accuses Sowore of cybercrime offences in violation of section 24(1)(b) of the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention) Act, by “knowingly” sending “messages by means of press interview granted on Arise Television network which you knew to be false for the purpose of causing insult, enmity, hatred and ill-will on the person of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

The Federal Government, through the DSS requested to detain Mr Sowore for another 20 days after the expiration of the 45 days initially granted.

After listening to arguments from the prosecution and defense counsels, Justice Taiwo Taiwo said there was no order detaining Sowore and he should be released with some conditions which included; depositing all travel documents and he should be produced whenever the court needs him.

According to Counsel to Mr Sowore, Femi Falana, despite meeting the bail conditions, his client was yet to be released. This prompted the defense counsel to file a contempt suit against the Director-General of the Department of State Service, (DSS) Yusuf Bichi, for allegedly disobeying a court order granting him bail.

The DSS however denied claims that the service refused to obey the court order, but stated that counsel to Mr Sowore was yet to perfect the conditions for his release.

After pleading ‘Not Guilty’ to all the seven charges read in court in September 30, Mr Sowore and Mr Bakare were remanded in the custody of the DSS pending the hearing of their bail application.

In October, at the resumed hearing of their bail application, Mr Sowore was granted bail in the sum N100 million and two sureties in like sum, while Mr Bakare got bail in the sum of N50 million and a surety in like sum.

Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu noted that they must both deposit their travel documents with the court and stay within Abuja.

Where there is a violation of the bail conditions, the judge threatened that the court would not fail to revoke the bail.

However, counsel to Mr Sowore filed a motion seeking a variation in the bail conditions, stating that the bail conditions were not met 17 days after the court had issued the order, due to the stringency of the conditions.

The trial judge, after listening to the arguments, varied the bail conditions regarding the payments of N50 million bail security by the sureties.

Justice Ojukwu also reduced the bail bond for Mr Bakare to N20 million and one surety in like sum.

Sowore’s Trial

The trial of Mr Sowore began in November after meeting the bail conditions.

Counsel to Mr Sowore stated that his clients would be freed soon, despite the refusal of the DSS to grant them access to the defendants.

The DSS, through its spokesperson Peter Afunaya, however denied knowledge that the defendants had perfected the bail conditions.

He confirmed the receipt of a court order for the release of Mr Sowore, but stressed that no person has turned up to take delivery of him.

This prompted Mr Sowore’s legal team along with family members to visit the Headquarters of the Service to receive the convener of #RevolutionNow protest.

Marshal Abubakar said after putting calls across to some high-ranking DSS officials, they were told to wait as the persons who could authorise Mr Sowore’s release were unavailable.

The DSS, after the visit of Mr Sowore’s legal team, still insisted  that it is ready to release him, but the appropriate persons have not turned up to get him.

“For emphasis, the Service reiterates its avowed readiness to release SOWORE once the processes are concluded. It maintains that the appropriate persons have still not turned up to take delivery of SOWORE,” the DSS said in a statement by its spokesperson, Mr Peter Afunanya.

The DSS argued in its statement on Wednesday that those who have so far shown up are not directly concerned with the matter and, therefore, unqualified.

Afterwards, Mr Afunaya posited that only the persons who stood as sureties for Sowore can secure his release from the DSS custody.

Mr Sowore and his co-detainee, Mr Bakare each filed a suit of N500 million in damages against the DG DSS and the Attorney General of the Federation, Mr Abubakar Malami, following their continued detention in DSS custody.

According to the suits, the arrest and physical assault of the duo by operatives of the DSS in Lagos and Osogbo on August 2 and 5, as well as their continued illegal detention by the security agency, constituted a violation of their rights.

Meanwhile, a Federal High Court in Abuja threatened to jail the DG of the DSS, Yusuf Bichi over the continued detention of the defendants.

Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu warned that unless the DSS Director-General obeyed the order of the Federal High Court ordering him to release the defendants, he would be guilty of contempt of court and will be liable to be committed to prison.

At this point, the defendants had been granted bail twice, but were yet to be released by the DSS.

24-Hour Ultimatum, Release And Rearrest

In December, a Federal High Court in Abuja ordered the DSS to release the defendants within the next 24hours.

Justice Ojukwu stressed that the DSS had no justifiable reason to continue to hold the defendants in custody, after she signed the warrants for the release of the defendants from custody.

She said the matter would not continue, adding that since today’s matter is adjourned at their instance she will award a cost of 100000 against the prosecution.

The DSS later released both defendants at exactly 7:15pm to their counsel on the same day the order was given by Justice Ojukwu.

Barely 24 hours after their release, the DSS stormed the premises of a Federal High Court. In an attempt to rearrest Mr Sowore, had a confrontation with his supporters in the courtroom.

Mr Sowore alleged that the DSS threatened to kill him after his release, stressing that he was told that he will not walk out of their detention alive.

After several hours, his counsel, Femi Falana, insisted that the arrest will not be carried out in the court premises, while urging all operatives of the DSS to step outside the court, where Mr Sowore was later accompanied by Mr Falana to the DSS office in Abuja, where he was arrested and eventually detained.

In his reaction, Mr Falana criticised the DSS for rearresting Mr Sowore barely 24 hours after their release, stressing that they were only invited for questioning.

Meanwhile the DSS stated that Mr Sowore was taken into custody for allegedly resorting to call for violence, a forceful takeover of government and suspected transnational illegal activities.

In a statement by its Public Relations Officer, Peter Afunanya, the agency stressed that Sowore is facing trial, not as an activist, journalist or politician.

On why he was rearrested, the DSS alleged that Sowore resorted to “acts inimical to security” shortly after being released from its custody.

It added that only Sowore was rearrested while his co-defendant, Olawale Bakare, was not picked up by its operatives.

Mr Falana accused the Federal Government of resorting to media trial, stressing that it is embarrassing that it is yet to prove its case in a competent court of law.

However, the House of Representatives has mandated its relevant committees to investigate the action of the DSS during the re-arrest of Mr Sowore.

The Minority Leader, Ndudi Elumelu, who raised the matter during plenary, described the occurrence as an abuse on the sanctity of the court room.

He said the reported invasion of the courtroom by DSS operatives can be seen as one arm of government attempting to overpower another, which will spell doom for the country’s democracy.

The DSS denied invading the courtroom during Mr Sowore’s rearrest.

Sowore’s Rearrest: Reps To Investigate DSS’ Action

FILE PHOTO: House of Reps

 

The House of Representatives has mandated its relevant committees to investigate the action of Department of State Security Service (DSS) operatives following the rearrest convener of #RevolutionNow, Omoyele Sowore, at the premises of a Federal High Court in Abuja.

The matter was raised by the Minority Leader, Ndudi Elumelu and seconded by Toby Okechuwku during plenary on Tuesday.

The lawmaker described the occurrence as an abuse on the sanctity of the court room.

He said the reported invasion of the courtroom by DSS operatives can be seen as one arm of government attempting to overpower another, which will spell doom for the country’s democracy.

Sowore, convener of #RevolutionNow movement was rearrested by operatives of DSS on Friday at a Federal High Court in Abuja, a situation which has sparked reactions from many.

This was after he was released on Thursday after months in DSS detention, following an order by Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court, who gave the security agency a 24-hour ultimatum.

Groups Demand Release Of Sowore, Give FG 14-Day Ultimatum To Prosecute DSS Officials

 

A coalition of civil society organizations in Nigeria has issued a 14- day ultimatum to the Federal Government demanding the release of Omoyele Sowore, convener of the #RevolutionNow movement.

This ultimatum follows the invasion of the Federal High Court in Abuja by Department of State Service (DSS) operatives who rearrested Sowore.

The group is also demanding the release of all illegally detained by the DSS as well as other security agencies.

This was disclosed at a news conference organised by the groups in Abuja, on Monday. They stressed that the Federal Government should ensure that officials of the DSS who invaded the court premises be prosecuted, else there would be a nationwide protest at every National Human Rights Commission Office across the country.

RELATED:

Sowore’s Rearrest: DSS Desecrated Court, Their Leader Apologised, Falana Insists

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

Executive Director of civil group, Enough is Enough, Yemi Ademolekun also at the news conference told journalists that the group’s demands include a call on President Muhammadu Buhari to hold a national broadcast and address citizens on the direction of his administration.

The civil rights movements include the Centre for Democracy and Development; Occupy Nigeria; Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), Transition Monitoring Group, Enough is Enough, among others.

The Whole World Is Watching, Twitter Reacts As DSS Rearrest Sowore

 

The rearrest of Mr Omoyele Sowore, convener of #RevolutionNow movement by operatives of the Department of State Security Services (DSS), has sparked outbursts on twitter.

Sowore was released on Thursday after months in DSS detention, following an order by Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court, who gave the security agency a 24-hour ultimatum.

He was rearrested and whisked away at the court premises and taken to the office of the DSS where he is being detained.

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

Some popular Nigerians on a social media messaging platform, twitter have attacked the security agency and the Federal Government for disrespecting the sanctity of the Judiciary.

Popular activist, Comrade Deji Adeyanju condemned the act and informed that a strategy meeting with other lawyers and activists is ongoing and Nigerians will be updated.

“We are in a meeting strategizing on what next to do on Sowore. We will keep you informed. We cannot continue like this as a nation.
“Nigeria is not a jungle.”

Former Presidential candidates, Fela Durotoye of the Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN) and Dr. Oby Ezekwesili, Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN) reacted to the rearrest describing it as a savage act by the DSS operatives.

“This savage act by the DSS operatives just proved to the whole world that the Executive arm of the Federal Government has no respect for the Judiciary and no regard for the rule of law & separation of powers.”

“President @MBuhari, the whole world is watching the video of officials of the State Security Service which you directly supervise, brutally violate the constitutional rights of a citizen @YeleSowore inside a court and desecrated our Judiciary- an independent arm of government.”

The rearrest of Sowore, according to Kayode Ogundamisi, an Anti-Corruption Campaigner is counter-productive and ill-advised.

“Attempts by the DSS to re-arrest @YeleSowore and Bakare in court is counterproductive and ill-advised, it appears all the DSS want is to keep both Sowore and Bakare in perpetuity. @[email protected] & @ProfOsinbajo should listen to wise counsel. Direct he DSS to obey the law.”

Sowore’s rearrest which was caught on camera, drew the attention of many, including Nedu Ekeke of the Bring Back Our Girls Campaign.

“I’m having goosebumps watching that video. OMG! Have you @ProfOsinbajo seen the video of how DSS abducted Sowore in an open court? Before a sitting judge? If @MBuhari is unaware of the implication of that action, are you, dear professor of Law, also unaware?”

Popular social commentator, JJ Omojuwa, said that the treatment of Sowore shows a disregard for the rule of law by the Buhari-led administration.

“This is @MBuhari‘s legacy. When he is out of power, this will rank as the one thing he’d wish never happened. This is a blatant disregard for the rule of law, order & justice. A government shouldn’t take the law in its hands. @ProfOsinbajo this is a shared legacy #FreeSoworeNow”

Other users, including the President of The National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN), Bello Shagari expressed their views on the matter, including an advise for the #RevolutionNow convener, Mr. Sowore.

“I really expected Sowore to have flown back to retreat in New York as soon as he was released. Doing so would not have been cowardly but strategic.”

A twitter user, M. Abba aired a contrary view, asking Mr. Sowore to reap from what he allegedly said about former President Goodluck Jonathan in 2014.

“Jonathan is worst Nigerian leader” ~Sowore 12 July 2014 The same Sowore who backed Buhari in 2015 was detained for more than 100 days without given bail, under Buhari’s admin He was finally released and rearrested in a courtroom under Buhari’s admin Reap what you sow.”

 

DSS Re-Arrests, Detains Sowore

Operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) on Friday morning re-arrested the convener of #RevolutionNow, Omoyele Sowore, and his co-defendant Olawale Bakare.

They are currently being detained at the DSS office in Abuja.

The DSS is yet to disclose the reason for the re-arrest.

Sowore was re-arrested following an earlier attempt by DSS operatives to arrest him inside the courtroom of a Federal High Court in Abuja.

The re-arrest attempt turned rowdy inside the courtroom as Sowore’s supporters, legal team shielded him from the DSS operatives.

 

See video and photos of Sowore struggling with DSS operatives in the courtroom.

After a stand-still that lasted over three hours inside the courtroom, Sowore’s lawyer, Mr Femi Falana insisted that the arrest should be effected outside the court premises.

Mr Falana in a phone conversation told Channels Television that the DSS claimed they wanted to ask Sowore a few questions but ended up detaining him and his co-defendant, Bakare.

  RELATED: 

DSS Attempt To Re-Arrest Sowore Inside Courtroom

VIDEO: Sowore Accuses DSS Of Trying To Assassinate Him

His re-arrest comes barely 24 hours after he was released alongside his co-defendant, Olawale Bakare.

They were released at exactly 7:15 pm on Thursday, hours after Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court in Abuja, had expressed displeasure over their continued detention by the agency.

Subsequently, Ojukwu ordered that the defendants be released within the next 24 hours and adjourned the case till Friday, December 6, for a report of compliance.

Sowore, a presidential candidate in the February 2019 elections, was arrested on August 3, just days to a planned protest tagged #revolutionnow against “bad governance” in the country.

Both he and his co-defendant are facing seven counts bordering on conspiracy to commit treasonable felony in breach of Section 516 of the Criminal Code Act, money laundering and cybercrimes, among others.

They pleaded not guilty to the charge and were granted bail on October 4, in the sum of N100m and N50m respectively with two sureties in like sum.

They, however, were not released until yesterday and re-arrested today.

‘They Tried To Break Me In Prison’

Mr Sowore earlier on Friday before his re-arrest told Channels Television that the Department of State Service (DSS) has threatened to kill him.

He claimed that the DSS had told him that he will not walk out of their detention alive.

“It might be my only word on the record before they kill me; this is an attempt to assassinate me in court. They came with guns and they tried to shoot and they dragged me down in front of a judge after I have been granted bail.

“I said it that these are a bunch of lawless people and they were reluctant to respect the order of the court. Now they have shown it to the whole world.

“They tried to break me in prison, sent delegations to me, offering all kinds of things and I refused and they promised that I will not walk out of their detention alive and that is what they have come to implement today,” Sowore said.

Watch the video below…

 

 ‘This Has Never Happened Before In Nigeria’

Lead Counsel and human rights lawyer, Femi Falana in reaction to Sowore’s re-arrest described the situation as extremely embarrassing “because it has never happened in Nigeria where you enter a court to arrest anybody, even an alleged coup plotter.”

Falana in a phone conversation with Channels TV expressed dismay at the actions of the DSS attempting to arrest his client inside the courtroom.

He also narrated the build-up to Sowore and Bakare’s rearrest.

Watch video below…

DSS Attempt To Re-Arrest Sowore Inside Courtroom

Operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) on Friday morning attempted to re-arrest convener of #RevolutionNow, Omoyele Sowore and Olawale Bakare inside the courtroom of a Federal High Court in Abuja.

The situation turned rowdy as Sowore’s supporters shielded him from the DSS operatives.

Channels TV judiciary correspondent who was also inside the courtroom was hit during the fracas.

“The police people and DSS just hit me because I was trying to take a shot of them dragging Sowore,” she said.

Attempt to re-arrest Sowore comes barely 24 hours after his release.

Sowore and Bakare were released at exactly 7:15 pm on Thursday, hours after Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court in Abuja expressed displeasure over their continued detention by the agency.

Subsequently, Ojukwu ordered that the defendants be released within the next 24 hours and adjourned the case till Friday, December 6, for a report of compliance.

Sowore, a presidential candidate in the February 2019 elections, was arrested on August 3, just days to a planned protest tagged #revolutionnow against “bad governance” in the country.

Both he and his co-defendant are facing seven counts bordering on conspiracy to commit treasonable felony in breach of Section 516 of the Criminal Code Act, money laundering and cybercrimes, among others.

They pleaded not guilty to the charge and were granted bail on October 4, in the sum of N100m and N50m respectively with two sureties in like sum.

They, however, were not released until yesterday.

VIDEO: Sowore Accuses DSS Of Trying To Assassinate Him

 

Convener of the #revolutionnow movement, Mr. Omoyele Sowore, has alleged that the Department of State Service (DSS) has threatened to kill him after his release on Thursday night.

Mr. Sowore and his co-defendant, Olawale Bakare, were released when Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court in Abuja, gave an order at the scheduled commencement of the defendants’ trial on charges of treasonable felony.

The drama in court today started when operatives of DSS tried to rearrest Mr. Sowore and Mr. Bakare in front of Justice Ojukwu.

Mr. Sowore, in an interview with Channels TV correspondent, said that the DSS had allegedly told him that he will not walk out of their detention alive.

“It might be my only word on the record before they kill me; this is an attempt to assassinate me in court. They came with guns and they tried to shoot and they dragged me down in front of a judge after I have been granted bail.

“I said it that these are a bunch of lawless people and they were reluctant to respect the order of the court. Now they have shown it to the whole world.

“They tried to break me in prison, sent delegations to me, offering all kinds of things and I refused and they promised that I will not walk out of their detention alive and that is what they have come to implement today.”

However, the DSS is yet to deny or counter the allegations made by Mr Sowore.

RELATED: DSS Attempt To Re-Arrest Sowore Inside Courtroom

The #RevolutionNow convener urged Nigerians not to be afraid and some people have to make the sacrifice for the Country to work.

“What is important for Nigerians to know is that I am not going to give up until every Nigerian benefit from a country that is theirs and I have made it very clear.

“Nobody in Nigeria should be afraid, it is our country and some people have to make the sacrifice for this country to be a country of rule, law and of dignity; and this also involves even judges, if suspects who have been given bail are not safe in court, the judges themselves are not safe.”

He explained that the sudden exit of justice Ojukwu is due to the manner at which the DSS operatives had caused a scene inside the courtroom.

“That is why the judge had to retire hurriedly into her chambers.

“We urge you to hang around so that you can witness this historic day in Nigeria.”

Sowore, a presidential candidate in the February 2019 elections, was arrested on August 3, just days to a planned protest against “bad governance” in the country.

Both he and his co-defendant are facing seven counts bordering on conspiracy to commit treasonable felony in breach of Section 516 of the Criminal Code Act, money laundering and cybercrimes, amongst others.

They pleaded not guilty to the charge and were granted bail on October 4, in the sum of N100m and N50m respectively with two sureties in like sum.

They, however, were not released until yesterday.

Court Threatens To Jail DSS Boss Over Sowore’s Continued Detention

Convener of #RevolutionNow Protest, Mr Omoyele Sowore, at the Federal High Court in Abuja on September 30, 2019. Photo: Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

 

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has threatened to jail the Director General of the Department of State Services (DSS), Yusuf Bichi, over the continued detention of the convener of the #revolutionnow movement, and his co-accused Olawale Bakare.

Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu gave the warning on Monday after previously issuing a “notice of consequences of disobedience of court order,” on the DSS.

READ ALSO: SIM Card Fraud: Banks, Telecom Operators Risk Losing Customers, Says Lawmaker

The court warned that unless the DSS director general obeyed the order of the Federal High Court ordering him to release the defendants, he would be guilty of contempt of court and will be liable to be committed to prison.

Sowore was arrested on August 3, 2019 for planning a protest which gained public attention under the hashtag #revolutionnow and has been in detention since then.

Although they had been granted bail twice, both Sowore and Bakare have still not been released by the DSS, which insists that Sowore would only be released to his sureties.

Meanwhile, Sowore has also filed a suit against the agency demanding N500 million for illegally detaining him and violating his fundamental human rights.

Protesters Storm DSS Headquarters Over Continued Detention Of Sowore, Bakare

 

A group of protesters have stormed the headquarters of the Department of State Services (DSS) over the continued detention of the convener of the #RevolutionNow protest, Omoyele Sowore, and Bakare.

This comes days after the DSS failed to comply with a Federal High Court’s order for their release, following a bail application.

The service had claimed that it was yet to receive the order as at Friday November 8.

The Public Relations Officer of the Service, Dr Peter Afunanya however, later confirmed that they had been served the bail order, but were yet to release the accused because nobody turned up to receive them.

But contrary to the claims of the DSS, counsel to Sowore, Mr Femi Falana, noted that they deliberately refused to release his clients despite lawyers waiting at the agency’s headquarters for up to four hours on Friday.

He, thereafter, stated that two lawyers from his law firm had been directed to contact the management of the DSS for the release of their clients by 10:00 am on Saturday (November 9).

They were, however, still not released to the lawyers.


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A member of the legal team, Barrister Marshal Abubakar, who led a team of family members to the headquarters of the DSS to receive him, confirmed this to Channels Television.

Abubakar said after putting calls across through to some high ranking DSS officials, they were told to wait, as the persons who could authorise Sowore’s release were unavailable.

Frustrated with the process, after nearly a week of the court order, supporters have now stormed the DSS office over the continued detention.

Deji Adeyanju is among those who have arrived at the venue.