The Department of State Service (DSS) on Thursday obeyed the order of the
court to release the detained convener of #RevolutionNow protest, Omoyele
Sowore and his co-defendant, Olawale Bakare.
Information available to BusinessDay has it that Omoyele Sowore and his
co-defendant, Olawale Bakare, have been released in obedience to the court
order on Thursday morning.
The security agency complied with the directive few hours after the court
gave them 24 hours to release Sowore and Bakare, who had been in their
custody despite their release on bail.
Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of a Federal High Court in Abuja had Thursday morning
expressed great reservation over the refusal of the Department of State
Service (DSS) to release Sowore and Bakare.
Justice Ojukwu subsequently ordered that the defendants be released within
the next 24 hours and adjourned to Friday November 6 for report of
However, before the expiration of the order, it was confirmed that the
defendants had been released.
Their lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN) late Thursday confirmed that Sowore and
Bakare were released to him.
According to a lawyer in Falana’s chambers, Marshal Abubakar, the
defendants were released at 7.15 pm Thursday evening.
It would be recalled that DSS lawyer, Hassan Liman (SAN) while speaking
with newsmen shortly after the court session Thursday morning had assured
that his client would comply with the order of the court.
“I want to say once again that the DSS has not at any time refused or
failed to comply with the court order. What we have done today is to go a
step further to say that the DSS does no longer want Mr. Sowore in their
cusutody. That is what we are saying.
“Definitely when somebody is granted bail he will be released to the main
person that has served as his surety. Nobody, I repeat has gone to the DSS
to take Mr. Sowore and co. on bail.
“The court has made an order to release them forthwith. But the DSS has not
at anytime, refused to comply with court order. And that is why the DSS
filed an application today that they no longer want them in their custody.
“The court has adjourned till tomorrow (Friday) for us to report whether or
not that order has been complied with. But I still say there has not been
any violation of court order. He will be released definitely.
“In terms of court order and the conditions of bail, when you come tomorrow
you will know if that has been complied with. I still say there has not
been any violation of court order”, Liman had said.
Sowore, the publisher of Sahara reporter and his co-defendant are facing a
seven-count charge bordering on conspiracy to commit treasonable felony in
breach of Section 516 of the Criminal Code Act, money laundering and
cybercrimes amongst others.
They pleaded not guilty to the charge and were granted bail on October 4, in
the sum of N100m and N50m respectively with two sureties in like sum.
For Sowore, one of the sureties according to the judge must deposit the sum
of N50m cash as security for the bail.
However, the court had two weeks later varied the bail conditions following
a request to that effect.
Justice Ojukwu had signed the release of the bail of the defenfants after
they met the bail conditions.
But the DSS had refused to released the defendants even after evidence that
they have met the conditions attached to the bail.
However at the resumed hearing on Thursday, Justice Ojukwu was infuriated
that her order on the release of the defendants was yet to be obeyed.
Counsel to the defendants, Femi Falana SAN had complained to the court that
its order as regards release of documents and the defendants who have been
granted bail and have met the attached conditions has not been complied
with by the prosecution.
Falana, who told Justice Ojukwu that one month after the court ordered
service of documents to be tendered on the defence, the prosecution only
served the defence the documents