A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, Femi Falana has said that lawyers waited for 4 hours at the headquarters of the State Security Service, SSS, to receive the detained publisher of Sahara reporters, Omoyele Sowore, following a court order to release him.
This is, however, contrary to a statement emailed to our Source Friday night by the spokesperson of SSS, Peter Afunaya, saying that the service had received a court order to free Mr Sowore, but he was still in detention because nobody had come to pick him up from them.
But TheCable, Saturday morning, quoted Mr Falana, who is Mr Sowore’s lead lawyer, as saying that the SSS statement was misleading.
Mr Falana said, “On 6/11/19 the bailiff of the federal high court wanted to serve the reproduction warrants issued by the court on the Director-General of the State Security Service, SSS. But the SSS asked the Bailiff to call back at 10.00 am on 7/11/19. The bailiff did and was able to serve the reproduction warrants on the DG of the SSS.
“Upon acknowledging the service of the reproduction warrants the SSS assured the bailiff and five lawyers from the defence team that our clients would be released yesterday. But the SSS decided not to release our clients to our lawyers who waited in vain in the agency’s headquarters for not less than 4 hours.
“When Sowore said that he would not make a statement without first consulting with me the SSS management called me on phone on 6/8/19. Assuming the SSS had wanted to release our clients since yesterday the management would have contacted me.
“It is pertinent to point out that the meaning of reproduction warrant issued by a trial court is that the defendants be produced for the purpose of releasing them having met their bail conditions. In the instant case, the federal high court did not order the SSS to hand over Messrs Sowore and Bakare to any person but to produce them for the purpose of releasing them having met the suffocating bail conditions imposed on them by the trial court.
“Even though the SSS disobeyed the order of the Honourable Justice Taiwo for the release of Mr. Sowore on 24/9/19 it has turned round to announce its readiness to comply with the order of the Honourable Justice Ifeoma Ojukwu for the release of Sowore and Bakare from illegal custody.”
Mr Sowore has been detained by the SSS since August when he was arrested for planning a nationwide protest dubbed #RevolutionNow.
He reportedly started hunger strike in detention Thursday.