Human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN) has faulted the claim by the Department of State Services (DSS) that they were still holding the convener of RevolutionNow, Omoyele Sowore, because none of their lawyers was available to take their delivery from custody since Thursday.
Sowore, who has been detained for 99 days by the DSS was granted bail by the federal high court in Abuja, but the security operatives refused to release him saying nobody has come to take the activist on bail.
A statement released by DSS spokesman, Peter Afunanya, was quoted as saying, “no person has turned up at the DSS to take delivery of him.”
However, Falana in a swift reaction, disclosed that his client (Sowore) was not released to his lawyers who waited in vain for not less than four hours at the DSS headquarters in Abuja on Thursday.
We gathered that the trio of three lawyers – Stanley Imhanruor, Effiong Inihebe and Marshal Abubakar, were at the DSS office to serve the release warrants on the agency in anticipation of returning home with Sowore on Thursday to no avail. Falana stated:
“On November 6, 2019, the bailiff of the federal high court wanted to serve the reproduction warrants issued by the court on the Director-General of the State Security Service (SSS). But the SSS asked the Bailiff to call back at 10.00 am on 7/11/19. The bailiff did and was able to serve the reproduction warrants on the DG of the SSS.
“Upon acknowledging the service of the reproduction warrants the SSS assured the bailiff and five lawyers from the defense team that our clients would be released yesterday. But the SSS decided not to release our clients to our lawyers who waited in vain in the agency’s headquarters for not less than 4 hours.
“When Sowore said that he would not make a statement without first consulting with me the SSS management called me on phone on 6/8/19. Assuming the SSS had wanted to release our clients since yesterday the management would have contacted me.
“It is pertinent to point out that the meaning of reproduction warrant issued by a trial court is that the defendants be produced for the purpose of releasing them having met their bail conditions. In the instant case, the federal high court did not order the SSS to hand over Messrs Sowore and Bakare to any person but to produce them for the purpose of releasing them having met the suffocating bail conditions imposed on them by the trial court.
“Even though the SSS disobeyed the order of the Honourable Justice Taiwo for the release of Mr. Sowore on 24/9/19 it has turned round to announce its readiness to comply with the order of the Honourable Justice Ifeoma Ojukwu for the release of Sowore and Bakare from illegal custody.”
Meanwhile, KanyiDaily had reported that Sowore began a hunger strike by refusing to eat anything in protest for his continued detention by the DSS despite a court order sanctioning his immediate release.