UPDATED: Falana Storms DSS Hqtrs for Sowore’s Release
Human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana, visited the headquarters of the Department of State Service in Abuja on Wednesday to secure the release of convener of #RevolutionNow protest, Mr. Omoyele Sowore, from the agency’s custody.
Falana visited the DSS office after Sowore has complied with the Tuesday order of the Federal High Court in Abuja, which directed him to deposit his passport at the court registry as condition for his release from the custody of the security agency.
“I am currently at their headquarters. Having complied with the condition given by the court, I am here for Sowore’s release,” Falana said on the telephone at about 4pm on Wednesday.
An “affidavit of compliance with court order” deposed to by a lawyer in Falana’s law firm, Mr. Marshal Abubakar, was filed before the Federal High Court in Abuja as confirmation of the submission of Sowore’s affidavit to the Deputy Chief Registrar of the court.
It reads in part, “That on September 24, 2019, this honorable court per Hon. Justice Taiwo Taiwo mandated the applicant/respondent to release the respondent/applicant forthwith.
“That the said order has since been served on the applicant/respondent (DSS). Attached hereto and marked Exhibit 1 is a copy of the endorsement by the applicant/respondent.
“That the court also ordered the respondent/applicant to deposit his international passport with the Deputy Chief Registrar of this honorable court within 48 hours.
“That the respondent/applicant’s international passport with passport number A50255207 has been deposited with the Deputy Chief Registrar of this honorable court.”
A letter titled, ‘Notice of compliance with court order’ was signed by Abubakar and addressed to the office of the Deputy Chief Registrar of the Federal High Court in Abuja.
The letter was received Wednesday by the office of the DCR.
It reads in part, “In line with the court order we respectfully forward with the instant correspondence, the international passport of Mr. Stephen Omoyele Sowore with passport number A50255207 to your good self.”
Justice Taiwo Taiwo had on Tuesday ordered the release Sowore, from the custody of the Department of State Service immediately.
The judge said the activist should be released to his lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), who is to produce him for arraignment whenever he is needed.
The judge however said since charges had already been filed against the activist, he must deposit his passport and other travel documents to guarantee his availability for trial.
He ordered that the passport should be deposited at the court’s registry within 48 hours.
He said since the order for detention permitting the DSS to keep the activist for 45 days had expired, the activist ought to be released immediately.
The DSS, on September 3, arrested Sowore, the publisher of Sahara Reporters and former presidential candidate in the 2019 general elections over his call for revolution protest scheduled to hold on September 5.
Justice Taiwo, on September 8, granted an ex parte application by the DSS permitting the security agency to keep the activist for 45 days.
The 45-day period expired on Saturday. Barely 24 hours afterwards, the Attorney-General of the Federation’s office filed charges of treasonable felony, cyber crime offences and money laundering against him before the Federal High Court in Abuja.