Malami took over Sowore’s case, but however can’t ask the DSS to obey court order and release him

Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN), the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice

Abubakar Malami, the Attorney General of the Federation and the Minister of Justice, says that he cannot ask the Department of State Services (DSS) to release Omoyele Sowore, the convener of the #RevolutionNow protest who has been incarcerated by the secret service against court order.

Malami who is a lawyer and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) noted that he cannot take unilateral decision on the detention of Sowore and his co-defendant, Olawale Bakare.

Sowore was arrested by the DSS in the early hours of August 3, 2019, at his residence in Lagos. His arrest came two days before the planned August 5th #RevolutionNow protest (a non-violent protest he organised against bad governance in the nation and to send message to the current government of President Muhammadu Buhari).

The DSS after his arrest however accused him of working with some foreign body to destabilise the nation and overthrow the government of President Buhari.  He was alleged to have received millions of dollars from foreign bodies to overthrow Buhari and release the leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky.  

The DSS further accused him of having links with the proscribed Independent People of Biafra (IPOB), Shiites, and Boko Haram. Sowore and Bakare are being prosecuted for treason felony.

Malami had last week requested that the DSS transfer Sowore’s case to his office following the invasion of the Federal High Court Abuja by operatives of the DSS which led to public outcry and condemnation.

Sowore struggling with DSS operative as they attempt to rearrest him despite court order
Sowore struggling with DSS operative as they attempt to rearrest him despite court order

Mr. Malami in a statement issued through his Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations, Dr. Umar Gwandu, noted that he can’t release Sowore in his reaction to a request by a lawyer (apparently Sowore’s lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN)).

Falana had following the announcement by the Office of the Attorney General that it had taken over Sowore’s case, requested that he (Malami) release Sowore from the DSS illegal detention.

Malami in his reply through his aide however said; “when parties submit their issues for determination to a court of law, they lack exclusivity of decision over such issues without recourse to court.

“We remain guided by the established tradition and will not take unilateral decision without recourse to the rule of law,” he added.

The statement is however contradictory as Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu had already granted Sowore and Bakera bail. But the DSS which is under the direct command of the president is holding the illegally.

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