Court orders DSS to release Sowore immediately, rejects DSS request to detain him further

Omowole Sowore, the Presidential Candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC) in the February 23, 2019 poll

The Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered the Department of State Services (DSS) to release Omoyele Sowore, the publisher of Sahara Reporters and convener of the #RevolutionNow protest.

The order was issued by Justice Taiwo Taiwo on Tuesday.

The judge told the DSS to release Sowore to his lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), who would always produce him in court whenever he is to appear.

Naija Buzz News reported how Sowore was arrested by the DSS on August 3 at his Lagos residence ahead of the #RevolutionNow protest scheduled for August 5.

He was accused by the DSS of receiving millions of dollars from foreign collaborators to overthrow the government of President Muhammadu Buhari and to release the leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky.

A 7 counts charge of treason felony, money laundering and insulting the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria was on Friday brought against him.

Following the charges against him, Justice Taiwo ordered that he must deposit his passport and other travel documents to guarantee his availability for trial whenever needed.

Sowore’s lawyer, Falana, had told the court that the order to detain his client for 45 days had expired on September 21. He urged the court to order the DSS to release Sowore from its custody.

However, G.O Agbadua, the counsel to the DSS, told the court that since the charges was filed against Sowore on September 20, the secret service could still lawfully keep him until arraignment.

Falana in his response said; “Filing of charges cannot metamorphose into a detention order. A citizen cannot detain a citizen in anticipation of arraignment.”

Agbadua had earlier withdrawn the DSS application to detain Sowore for 20 more days since the charges had already been filed against him.

Considering the detention extension withdrawal by the DSS counsel and the expiration of the initial 45 days detention order, Justice Taiwo ordered the DSS to immediately release Sowore from its custody.



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