A Federal High Court in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, on Tuesday ordered the Department of Security Service (DSS) to release Omoyele Sowore, leader of the #RevolutionNow Movement from detention.
National Daily learned that Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja, in a judgment on Tuesday ordered the DSS to immediately release Sowore, Convener of #RevolutionNow protest, from its custody.
Justice Taiwo directed that Sowore should be released to his legal counsel, Femi Falana (SAN), adding that the lawyer will produce him for arraignment whenever he is required.
Justice Taiwo admitted that charges have been filed against Sowore, directing, therefore, that he must submit his international passport and other travel documents to ensure that he will be available for trial when needed.
The presiding Judge had earlier stood down the case after hearing arguments from the legal teams of the parties to the suit.
Femi Falana (SAN), lead Counsel of Sowore, had argued that the order issued by the court on August 8, 2019, granting permission to the DSS to detain Sowore for 45 days expired on September 21. He demanded the court to issue a consequential order to release the activist from DSS custody.
Counsel to DSS, G.O Agbadua, countered that since the charges had been filed against Sowore on September 20, it was lawful to continue to detain him until arraignment.
Falana in a counter-argument declared: “Filing of charges cannot metamorphose into a detention order.
“A citizen cannot detain a citizen in anticipation of arraignment.”
It was gathered that Agbadua had earlier withdrew DSS’ application for extension of detention period of Sowore to 20 more days. The DSS Counsel’s withdrawal of the extension application was said to be predicated on the charges that have been filed against Sowore.
Falana was said to have withdrawn Sowore’s application for bail, arguing that the application had become academic or irrelevant since the detention order has expired. Falana, therefore, demanded the court to order Sowore’s release.
The presiding Judge in his judgment conceded to Falana and ordered immediate release of Sowore from DSS custody.
Sowore has been in the DSS custody since his arrest in Lagos to forestall the September 5 mass protest under the aegis of #RevolutionNow Movement.
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