Report on Interest

Why Sowore is still in our custody-DSS

By Bimbo Ogunnaike

The Department of State Services(DSS) has said that the reason why the convener of #Revolutionnow protest, Omoyele Sowore is still in their custody was because his counsel is yet to perfect the conditions of his release.

The Public Relations Officer of the Service, Peter Afunanya, who disclosed the development on Thursday, denied refusing to obey court order which ordered  his release.

Afunanya added that the service remains a law-abiding agency and committed to the rule of law.

But Femi Falana who is the lawyer to Sowore had on Wednesday, said that despite fulfilling the bail conditions of his client since morning, the Department of State Services (DSS) was yet to release him.

Falana explained that no reason has been given by the agency for its failure to comply with the court order delivered on Tuesday, September 24, 2019.

According to him,  court had asked his client to deposit his passports with the court which has been done and that for the past three days he has been at the DSS office for hours to effect the release of his client which the court ordered should be released to him.

Falana wondered what other conditions the DSS is demanding to be met.

However, Sowore has filed a contempt suit against the Director-General of the DSS, Yusuf Bichi, for allegedly disobeying a court order granting him bail.

In the bid to enforce the release order, the detained politician and publisher filed form 48 against the SSS boss seeking his committal to jail unless he gives effect to the order of the court.

The form 48 otherwise known as contempt of court was filed at the Federal High Court pursuant to order ix, rule 1-3 of the judgment enforcement rules, section 72 of the Sheriff and Civil Process Act 2004 and under the inherent jurisdiction of the court.

Titled, Notice of Consequences of Disobedience to Order of Court’, the SSS boss in the contempt notice form was warned that unless he obeys the order of the Federal High Court delivered on September 24, ordering him to release Sowore in suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/915/2019, he will be guilty of contempt of court and will be liable to be committed to prison.

The contempt form notice further indicated that the court has been informed that as at today, September 26, the DG SSS was yet to comply with the lawful order by refusing to release Sowore from its custody.

The notice read in part: “Take notice that unless you obey the direction contained in the order of the Federal High Court of Justice, Abuja, delivered on September 24, 2019, which ordered you to release the applicant in suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/915/2019 forthwith, you will be guilty of contempt of court and will be liable to be committed to prison”.

“A copy of the said order of court earlier served on you is hereby annexed for your on-the-spot reference. This court has been informed that even as at today Thursday, September 26, 2019, you are yet to comply with the lawful order of the Federal High Court by refusing to release the applicant namely, Omoyele Sowore in your custody.

“You are hereby directed to comply with the court order forthwith or you will be guilty of contempt of court”.

The notice had been served on the SSS boss at the three-arm zone in Abuja on after all the necessary conditions have been fulfilled.

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