The Abuja Division of the Federal High Court has ordered the Department of State Service, DSS, to forthwith, release the detained convener of RevolutionNow protest, Omoyele Sowore.
In a ruling that was delivered by trial Justice Taiwo Taiwo on Tuesday, the court held that the previous order is issued for the security agency to detain the leader of RevolutionNow, Sowore for 45 days, had elapsed.
Justice Taiwo noted that an application the DSS re-approached filed to renew the detention order was struck out after it was withdrawn. He held that the application having been struck out, there was nothing before the court to warrant Sowore’s continued stay in detention.
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 to ruling, prayed the court through its counsel, Mr Godwin Abadua, to allow Mr Sowore to remain in detention pending his arraignment on the seven-count charge the Federal Government preferred against him last week. DSS told the court that Mr Sowore who was the presidential candidate of the African Action Congress, AAC, committed “a capital offence” punishable with death. It prayed the court to in “the interest of national security”, reject Falana’s an oral request for his client to be granted his freedom since the detention order that was issued against him on August 8, had expired.
Federal Government had charged Sowore with money laundering, treasonable felony and allegation that he insulted President Muhammadu Buhari. He was arrested after he called for a nationwide protest against perceived maladministration by the Buhari-led government.