The Department of State Services (DSS) has challenged the Federal High Court order, allowing it to detain the Convener of RevolutionNow protests, Mr. Omoyele Sowore, for 45 days against its request of 90 days pending investigation.
DSS argued that its investigation so far revealed that Sowore met with “foreign collaborators” in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, and other countries on how to topple the Muhammadu Buhari government”, and that “RevolutionNow” was allegedly a smokescreen for their actual plan.
The security agency also alleged in fresh papers filed before the court on Tuesday that Sowore received “millions of dollars” from the alleged collaborators to sponsor attacks in Nigeria with a view toppling the government and ensuring the release of the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, from custody.
However, the identities of the alleged foreign collaborators, the details of the meetings and how much was allegedly taken by Sowore were not disclosed in the court document.
The DSS’ counter-affidavit was filed on August 16, 2019 in opposition to Sowore’s application challenging the August 8, 2019 order of Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja permitting the agency to detain him for 45 days.
“The respondent/appllcant (Sowore) planned to violently change the government through the hashtag RevolutionNow,” the court document reads.
“The respondent/appllcant hid under the cover of call for mass protest with the hashtag RevolutionNow to mislead unsuspecting and innocent members of the public into joining him to topple the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
“In his plot to topple the government the respondent/applicant held series of meetings with members at a prescribed terrorists‘ organisation, Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) with a view to mobilising strong forces to realise his agenda at changing the government
“The respondent formed an alliance with a fugitive, Nnamdi Keno, a self-acclaimed leader of the proscribed terrorists group, Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), to launch series of attacks on Nigeria with a view to violently removing the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
“After series of closed-door meetings between the duo in the United States of America, they addressed a press conference wherein they both stated their resolve to form an alliance against the Nigerian government, the duo stated that they have a well planned out strategy to realize their objective, which is toppling the government.
“The applicant/respondent is investigating the activities of the respondent applicant as it relates to a terrorist organisation, IPOB. The facts show a conjecture between the respondent/applicant and IPOB activities.
“There is a need for the applicant/respondent to investigate such reasonable suspicion of the relationship between the respondent/applicant and IPOB.
“The respondent held series of meetings with some foreign collaborators outside Nigeria including Dubai where millions of dollars were given to him to sponsor a widespread attack on Nigeria with a view to violently removing the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and freeing Ibrahim ElZakzaky (Sheikh).
“In furtherance to the plans to violently free Elzakzaky from lawful custody. the respondent held several meetings with a proscribed terrorist organisation. Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) where they strategized on how to carry out attacks to force the government to free Elzakzaky.
“The respondent stated in one of his videos that Shiite members, who are members of the proscribed terrorists group, IMN were going to join forces with him in bringing down the government. The statement and the meetings of the respondent/applicant raise the issue of grave suspicion of supporting a proscribed terrorists’ organisation, IMN.
“The suspicions require diligent investigation by the applicant/respondent. The planned action constitutes a threat of violence to intimidate or cause panic in members of the public as a means of affecting political conduct.
“The investigation is still ongoing. Upon the completion of the investigation, the case file will be forwarded to the office of the Attorney General of the Federation for advice and possible prosecution,” DSS alleged.