The Department of State Services is still holding on to Omoyele Sowore, despite meeting the bail conditions as spelt out by the Federal High Court in Abuja on Tuesday.
Sowore’s lawyer, Femi Falana, a leading human rights lawyer and senior advocate told Channels TV that he was at a loss as to why the detainee has not been released.
No reason has been given by the agency for its failure to comply with the court order delivered on Tuesday, September 24, 2019, he said.
Justice Taiwo Taiwo ordered the release of Mr Sowore, who is also the publisher of Sahara Reporters, after the expiration of the 45-day detention that his court sanctioned in August.
Sowore was arrested in Lagos, a few days to his inspired protests for #revolutionnow across Nigeria.
On the eve of the expiration of the detention order, the DSS brought a new charge, accusing him of not just treasonable felony, but also money laundering and cyberstalking President Buhari.
Femi Falana (SAN), leading Sowore’s legal team said the order issued by the court on August 8, 2019 permitting the DSS to hold the activist for 45 days, expired on September 21, while appealing to the court to issue a consequential order releasing his client.
DSS’ lawyer, G.O Agbadua, said that since new charges were filed against the activist on September 20, it was lawful to continue to keep him until arraignment.
But Falana 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Agbadua had earlier withdrawn the DSS’ application asking for the extension of the period of the detention of Sowore for further 20 days.
Agbadua’s request for the withdrawal of the said application was based on the fact that charges had been filed against the activist.
Falana also withdrew Sowore’s application for bail on the grounds that the application had become academic since the order of detention had expired.
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