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Sowore vs DSS: What really happened in court on Friday

ABUJA, Nigeria – There was a mild drama at the court 7, Federal High Court, Abuja, on Friday, as armed operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) moved to rearrest Omoyele Sowore, Convener, #RevolutionNow protest, and his co-defendant, Olawale Bakare, at the court premises.

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The drama started shortly after Justice Ijoema Ojukwu adjourned the trial continuation till Feb. 11, 12 and 13 for definite hearing.

The DSS had, on Thursday, complied with the court order by releasing Sowore and also paid the fine.

At Friday’s sitting, the DSS Lawyer, Hassan Listen, SAN, told the court that the security agency had already complied with the order of the court.

He also hinted that based on the agreement between the parties, the matter adjourned till Feb. 11, 12 and 13 to enable the parties to respond to applications filed.

Also, speaking, Counsel to the defendants, Femi Falana, SAN, confirmed that his clients were released to him on Thursday evening.

“My Lord, at about 5 o clock yesterday, I received a call from my respected colleague to send our lawyers to receive our clients.

“I am happy to tell you that our clients were released and the N100, 000 cost was also paid.

“On account of this, on behalf of our defendants, we wish to express our profound appreciation for your leadership and for standing up for integrity and for standing for the rule of law in Nigeria.

“I also thank my colleague for impressing it on their client to obey the court order.

“I hope my learned friend will allow the defendants to get their freedom notwithstanding the charges,” he told the court.

Justice Ojukwu, who commended the DSS for obeying the Court order, said everyone must be ready to allow the law to take its course irrespective of position one held.

“It is obvious that the DSS has demonstrated their commitment to the rule of law.

“No one is above the law,” adding that those at realms of power must respect the rule of law.

“The DSS has earned the respect of Nigerians for this,” the judge said.

She then adjourned till Feb. 11, 12 and 13 for definite hearing.

The court registrar then called the next case for hearing and as everyone began to move out of the court premises, some officers of the DSS, numbering about 15, who had laid ambush for the defendants, started making their way towards Sowore and Bakare.

There was a stampede as the officers cocked their guns to scare people away.

Sowore and Bakare, however, resisted being rearrested.

They ran back into the court premises as the action resulted in a commotion.

Justice Ojukwu quickly retired into her chamber.

Sowore, while speaking with the newsmen, said the ploy of the security agency was to kill him.

He said their actions had shown that they had no respect for the law, the court, and the citizens.

And as at the time of filing this report, DSS operatives succeeded in chasing out lawyers from the courtroom, attacked journalists after which they re-arrested Sowore. 

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