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Omoyele Sowore, detained Nigerian journalist and former presidential candidate charged with treason, has been granted bail but remains in custody /Photo: Sowore2019

Sowore: Falana asks court to jail DSS director for disobeying court order

Despite a court order releasing Omoyele Sowore, the Nigerian authorities have refused to free the rights activist and journalist. While his lawyers claim that all the conditions set by the court for Sowore’s freedom had been met, the Department of State Services (DSS), which is holding him, maintains that the process for effecting the court’s order remain incomplete.
 
Femi Falana, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), representing the convener of #RevolutionNow, has now asked a federal high court in Abuja to jail Yusuf Bichi, director-general of the DSS, for keeping his client  in detention.
 
Falana said the DSS had no right to keep Sowore in custody after he had been granted bail by the court.
 
The Cable, an online newspaper, reports that in a notice, Falana informed the court that the failure of the DSS director to release Sowore amounts to a contempt.
 
Supporters of the detained rights activist protesting for his freedom in front of the Nigerian embassy in Berlin, 25 September /Photo: Francis Joseph
 
 
The notice entitled, ‘Notice of consequences of disobedience to order of court’ read: “Take notice that unless you obey the direction contained in the order of the Federal High Court of Justice Abuja delivered on 24 September, 2019, which ordered you to release the applicant in suit no: FHC/ABJ/CS/915/2019 forthwith, you will be guilty of contempt of court and will be liable to be committed to prison.
 
Taiwo Taiwo, the judge, had on Tuesday in Abuja said there was no subsisting order keeping him in detention, ordering that Sowore who has been in detention since August 2 when he was arrested by DSS operatives, should be immediately released within 24 hours. The court held that Falana must be ready to produce his client whenever he is needed for prosecution.
 
 
The DSS had before the ruling asked the court to allow Sowore to remain in detention pending his arraignment on the seven-count charge the Federal Government preferred against him last week. FG had charged Sowore with money laundering, treasonable felony and allegation that he insulted President Muhammadu Buhari.
Raphael Adenaike

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