Release Sowore, Bakare And Stop Exposing Nigeria To Ridicule – Falana Tells DSS
Department of State Services has been asked again to immediately release the convener of #RevolutionNow protest , Mr . Omoyele Sowore, and Olawale Bakare
Human rights lawyer , Mr . Femi Falana ( SAN) , made call on Wednesday, November 13.
Falana said the service have ridiculed Nigerians with its ever-changing excuses for continuing to hold on to them in violation of the Federal High Court ’s order for their release.
He said: “ Even when five of us were charged with treasonable felony in May 1992 , we were released after we had met the bail conditions.
“ On that occasion , the SSS never asked our sureties to report after they had been verified by the trial court .
“I demand for nothing less for my clients under the current political dispensation which ought to be anchored on the Rule of Law.
“ Finally , I confirm that I have an official relationship with the DG of SSS.
“ But since the commencement of the case of Sowore and Bakare the DG has refused to pick my calls while I have since become a persona non grata in the office of the SSS.
“ With respect to the baseless allegation that I am playing to the gallery by demanding for the release of my clients in line with the valid and subsisting order of a competent law court I shall take appropriate action under the law.
“ Meanwhile , the SSS should release our clients from illegal custody and should stop exposing the country to unwarranted ridicule.
He noted that by imposing the condition that the sureties of the two men should be the ones to receive them from custody , the DSS had turned itself to an appellate court.
He warned that by further holding on to the two men in violation of the bail granted them by the Federal High Court, the DSS “ is aggravating the felony of contempt of court by asking sureties who had been verified by the trial court to report in its office for an illegal verification” .
According to him , “ On November 6, 2019 , the bailiff of the Federal High Court wanted to serve the order of the Federal High court for the immediate release of Messrs Omoyele Sowore and Adebayo Bakare on the State Security Service.
“ Under the pretext that the management had closed for the day the court bailiff was asked to serve the order at 10 am on November 7, 2019.
“ In the company with four members of the defence team the Court Bailiff served the order on November 7, 2019 .
“ After the four lawyers had waited in vain for hours the SSS asked them to go and that they would be contacted on phone to pick up the two detainees after consultations . But the SSS never contacted the lawyers .
“ To our utter dismay , the SSS issued an incendiary statement on November 8, 2019 wherein it was claimed that no one had shown up to receive both detainees.
“ Yesterday ( Tuesday ) two members of the defence team , family members and friends of both detainees reported at the headquarters of the SSS.
“Some journalists were also there to witness the release of both detainees.
“ Instead of releasing both detainees to their lawyers and family members the SSS fired teargassed and shot into the air .
“In the process, the lawyers , family members and friends of both detainees were physically attacked by masked security operatives.
“ Some of the journalists were seriously injured.
“ Having proved beyond any reasonable doubt that members of the defence team , family members and friends of the two detainees had reported in the headquarters of the SSS to receive them the story has now changed.
“ The SSS has now said that ‘it is only appropriate that those who stood surety for SOWORE present themselves and have him released to them’ .”
He expressed hope that the agency would release Bakare having shown by its statement that they had no axe to grind with him having invited his sureties to receive him .