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We would have released Sowore but nobody has come to collect him – DSS explains

Amadin Ogbewe



Nigeria’s Department of State Services has said that the reason Sahara reporters publisher and revolution now protest convener, Omoyele Sowore, has not been released despite a court order is because no one has come for him.

The agency said 

“no person has turned up at the DSS to take delivery of him.”

Online platform TheCable, reports that the news was contained in a Press release signed by DSS spokesman, Peter Afunanya.

The statement reads in part: 

“The DSS wishes to confirm that it has received the court order for the release of Omoyele Sowore.

“It is important that the public notes that since the receipt of the Order, no person has turned up at the DSS to take delivery of him.

“This becomes imperative for reasons of accountability.

“However, the Court has been properly briefed on this development and the steps being taken to ensure compliance with its order.

”The Service, under the leadership of Yusuf Magaji Bichi (fwc), as the Director General, is not a lawless organization and will never obstruct justice or disobey Court Orders.

“It, therefore, affirms that it will do all that is needful once the appropriate processes have been concluded.”

Human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), and counsel to the defendant, on Friday, said that the statement of the DSS was false as lawyers had been sent to them.

“But the SSS asked the bailiff to call back at 10.00 am on November 7, 2019.

“The bailiff did and served the reproduction warrants on the DG of the SSS.

“Upon acknowledging the service of the reproduction warrants, the SSS assured the bailiff and lawyers from the defence team that our clients would be released yesterday (Thursday).

“But the SSS decided not to release our clients to our lawyers who waited in vain for not less than four hours.

“When Sowore said that he would not make a statement without first consulting with me, the SSS management called me on phone on August 8, 2019.

Assuming the SSS had wanted to release our clients, 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 Justice Taiwo Taiwo for the release of Mr. Sowore on September 24, 2019, it has announced its readiness to comply with the order of Justice Ifeoma Ojukwu for the release of Sowore and Bakare from illegal custody.

“While thanking the Nigerian people for demanding for unconditional compliance with the orders of the Federal High Court we have directed two lawyers from our law firm to contact the management of the SSS for the release of our clients at 10.00 am on November 9, 2019.” He said.

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