Omoyele Sowore (middle) in the midst of his supporters early in Lagos, Febraury 2019 /Photo: Private

BREAKING! Court frees Omoyele Sowore, Nigerian activist

The Federal High Court, sitting in Abuja, has ordered the Department of State Service, DSS, to release the detained convener of RevolutionNow protest, Omoyele Sowore.

In a ruling delivered by Justice Taiwo Taiwo on Tuesday, the court held that the previous order it issued for the security agency to detain Sowore for 45 days, had elapsed.

The judge noted that an application the DSS filed to renew the detention order was struck out. He held that there was nothing before the court to warrant Sowore’s continued stay in detention after the application having been struck out.

The court stressed that it was constitutionally empowered to safeguard the right to liberty of every Nigerian citizen, irrespective of position or social status.

However, Justice Taiwo ordered Sowore to surrender his international passport to the Chief Registrar of the court. He ordered that Sowore who has been in detention since August 2 when he was arrested by DSS operatives, should be immediately released to his lead counsel, Mr. Femi Falana, SAN, 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.

Sowore, the presidential candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC) in the last general election, has been detained since 2 August by the Department of State Services (DSS).

The DSS previously accused him of threatening the public peace with his planned nationwide #RevolutionNow protest scheduled for 5 August, and subsequently got a court order to detain him for 45 days.

Kola Tella

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