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DSS’s action extremely embarrassing, has never happened in Nigeria – Falana
We knew there were plans to re-arrest Sowore, Bakare - Lawyer
HUMAN rights lawyer, Femi Falana SAN, has berated the Department of State Security Services (DSS) for disrupting court proceedings in its attempt to arrest SaharaReporters Publisher, Omoyele Sowore and Olawale Bakare.
The DSS had today stormed the Federal High Court, Abuja to effect the arrest Sowore and Bakare barely 24 hours after they were released from DSS custody on the order of the court.
Falana, who is the lead counsel to Sowore and Bakare in an interview with Channelstv, said the action of the DSS was extremely embarrassing because it has never happened in Nigeria.
“The atmosphere was very rowdy, but I insisted that the arrest could not be carried out within the precinct of the court. He was going to be arrested outside the premises but there was a crowd that resisted the arrest, but I appealed to everybody and asked Sowore to jump into my car and so we drove to the office of the SSS because they said he will just answer a few questions, but now he is being detained.
“We are going to take steps under the law by asking for his release again since they are claiming this is a fresh arrest.
“Nobody has disclosed yet what his charges are; he couldn’t have committed any other offence because he has been detained for the past four months unless the SSS wants to tell the whole world that he committed this fresh offence while in their custody,” he stressed.
The human rights lawyer said, “This morning, the SSS lawyers and the lawyers of the Attorney-General reported to the court that the order of the court had been complied with and I confirmed because our clients were released last night.
“As soon as the court adjourned the matter to February next year, the DSS operatives pounced on the court, disrupted proceeding and then attempted to arrest our clients even in the web of the court, that was extremely embarrassing because it has never happened in Nigeria where you enter a court to arrest anybody, even an alleged coup plotter.”
Also, a member of the legal team representing Sowore and Bakare, Abdul Mahmud in a facebook post, said the legal team knew DSS operatives were coming for their clients.
“We knew there were plans to re-arrest Sowore and Bakare when contacts whispered to me as I was leaving the courtroom for another courtroom to move his human rights application motion that fresh charges are being filed. Falana was already standing to address the court when I returned to him and told him of the plans, which he duly informed the court. Surprisingly, Liman SAN, who leads the prosecution, sidestepped the information because he was in cahoots with the dog-whisperer.
“Sowore was eventually taken away – on one condition: that he will be taken by his lawyers to the gangsters in his own car. No more. The dogs balked. Come and see the way they left the court- like a scene taken out of the Western movie.”
“The nonsense I saw today in court never happened in my years of practising as a lawyer under two terrible dictatorship. When I was snatched by the DMI in 1996, they waited outside the High Court Ijebu-Ode and trailed me to the CLO South West Ijebu Ode. I had a fair number of brushes with the state; but what I saw today leaves me with two impressions: 1) The dogs are intent on killing Sowore; 2) Dictatorship is here.”
It would be recalled that Sowore who is the convener of #RevolutionNow was arrested by the operatives of DSS on August 3rd, 2019, at about 1:25 am according to a distress tweet he posted just before his phone was confiscated.
Both detainees are facing seven-count charge bordering on conspiracy to commit treasonable felony, money laundering and cybercrimes, amongst others.
But after spending 124 days in DSS custody, they were released on Thursday night, following an order given by Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu who gave the security agency a 24-hour ultimatum to effect the bail order earlier issued.