Femi Falana, senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN), says Yusuf Bichi, director-general of the Department of State Services (DSS), has stopped taking his calls.
The senior lawyer said this while responding to the an earlier statement of Peter Afunanya, spokesman of the DSS.
Afunanya had accused Falana of playing to the gallery rather than reaching Bichi.
In his response, Falana admitted that he he has an official relationship with the DSS DG but said Bichi has refused to speak with him since the agency refused to release Omoyele Sowore, his client who is the convener of the Revolution Now Movement, despite a court order granting him bail.
“For the avoidance of doubt, no condition is attached to the order of the federal high court for the release of both detainees. Therefore, the SSS is aggravating the felony of contempt of court by asking sureties who had been verified by the trial court to report in its office for an illegal verification,” Falana said.
“In view of the reckless insinuations of the SSS I am compelled to point out that my colleagues and I did not risk our lives for the purpose of substituting military dictatorship for civilian autocracy. It is pertinent to point out that suspects who were presumed innocent under the defunct military junta were not exposed to the crude intimidation that has become the lot of Sowore and Bakare.
“Even when five of us were charged with treasonable felony in May 1992 we were released after we had met the bail conditions. On that occasion, the SSS never asked our sureties to report after they had been verified by the trial court. I demand for nothing less for my clients under the current political dispensation which ought to be anchored on the Rule of Law.
“I confirm that I have an official relationship with the DG of SSS. But since the commencement of the case of Sowore and Bakare the DG has refused to pick my calls while I have since become a persona non grata in the office of the SSS. With respect to the baseless allegation that I am playing to the gallery by demanding for the release of my clients in line with the valid and subsisting order of a competent law court I shall take appropriate action under the law.
He asked the secret police to release Sowore and Olawale Bakare, also an activist, from “illegal custody and should stop exposing the country to unwarranted ridicule.”
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