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RevolutionNow: Court Summons DSS, Police Over Sowore’s Detention




A Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi area of Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial city, has ordered the Department of State Services and the Inspector-General of Police to appear before it on September 4 over the detention Omoyele Sowore, a pro-democracy activist and co-convener of RevolutionNow movement.

Naija News reports that the order was given on Tuesday by Justice Nicholas Oweibo, following an ex-parte application filed by Olukoya Ogungbeje, a Lagos-based lawyer.

This online news platform recalls that Sowore, who is the publisher of SaharaReporters, was arrested by operatives of the DSS in Lagos on August 3 over the planned RevolutionNow protest slated for August 5 and has remained in DSS detention since that day.

Ogungbeje, who participated in the RevolutionNow protest but was not arrested, urged the court to declare as unconstitutional and illegal police clampdown of the protesters and the arrest of Sowore by
the DSS.

The Lagos-based lawyer urged the court to make an order for the immediate and unconditional release of those arrested and detained.

Federal Government, DSS and the Inspector-General of Police are the respondents in the application.

Giving reasons why the arrested persons should be immediately and unconditionally released, the Lagos-based lawyer said, “There has been a grave constitutional infraction committed by the respondents against the applicant and other persons who engaged in the peaceful protest for good governance in Nigeria.

“On August 3, 2019, convener of the protest, Omoyele Sowore was arrested, whisked away and detained in the detention facility of the 2nd respondent (DSS).

Mr. Omoyele Sowore has not committed any offence known to law to warrant the infringement and likely infringement of rights by the respondents.

“By engaging in the peaceful protest, the applicant and other persons have not committed any offence known to law to warrant the treatment meted out to them by the respondents and their agents.”

Justice Oweibo, however, said he needed to hear from the FG, DSS and the IGP instead of ordering the release of the detainees.

The judge ordered Ogungbeje to put them on notice and directed that the respondents must appear before him on September 4 to show cause why Sowore and others should not be released immediately.

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