We’re checking Sowore’s phones for links with terrorism, DSS tells court


The Department of State Services (DSS) says it is running checks on the mobile phones seized from Omoyele Sowore, an activist, since August 2019.


The DSS arrested Sowore on August 2, 2019. Despite being granted bail by two courts, the DSS had failed to release the activist.


He was, however, eventually released on December 24, 2019.


Sowore and one Olawale Bakare are standing trial on a two-count charge of treasonable felony before Ijeoma Ojukwu, a federal high court judge.


Sowore, however, instituted a suit against the secret service to compel the agency to return his seized phones. The case is before Anwuli Chikere, a federal high court judge.


At the court session on Wednesday, Funmi Falana announced appearance for Sowore.


Falana submitted that the phones of her client were illegally seized.


But the DSS told the court that the phones were “recovered” during his arrest and not seized.


Counsel from the ministry of justice also raised objections to the suit on the ground that Sowore was still standing trial in relation to the issue.


Falana, on the other hand, criticised the position of the counsel, telling the judge that in addition to failing to get a court order to take the phones, the government had also failed to return the phones and money collected after repeated requests.


She went on to say the charge papers in court did not specify that the phones were part of the evidence presented to the court as evidence.

She urged the court to dismiss the preliminary objections, order the restoration of Sowore’s phones, and award the petitioner N20 million in damages.


The court, thereafter, adjourned the case till December 8, 2021 for ruling.

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