Breaking: Court orders immediate release of Sowore

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The Federal High Court in Abuja on Tuesday ordered the immediate release of the convener of #RevolutionNow protest, Omoyele Sowore, from the custody of the Department of State Service, DSS.

Justice Taiwo Taiwo said that the activist should be released to his lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), who is to produce him for arraignment whenever he is required.

Since charges had already been filed against the activist, he must deposit his passport and other travel documents to guarantee his availability for trial, Taiwo said.

READ ALSO: UPDATED: Court Dismisses Sowore’s Request to hear motion Challenging His Detention

Earlier, Justice Taiwo stood down the case after hearing arguments from legal teams of Sowore and the DSS.

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 the charges had been 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Agbadua had earlier withdrawn the DSS’ application asking for the extension of the period of the detention of Sowore for further 20 days.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.

 

Juliet Ekwebelam

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