DSS arraigns Sowore in Federal High Court

The Federal Government has re-arraigned Omoyele Sowore, the publisher of Sahara Reporters and the presidential candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC), before a Federal High Court in Abuja, a week after a court ordered his release.

Sowore alongside his co-defendant, Olawale Bakare, were brought to the court by operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS).

A Federal High Court in Abuja had on Tuesday ordered the immediate release of Sowore due to expiration of the date the detention order he the court issued to the DSS but Sowore was not released.

A source in the secret police on Friday told The Guardian that the agency was not in a hurry to release the activist.

“We are aware of the court order, but we are still keeping him to be arraigned next week on charges that Nigerians will know of when he gets to court,” the source told The Guardian.

Justice Taiwo noted that the detention order he issued to the DSS on August 8 expired on September 21.

“The order of court has expired. It has not been renewed and cannot be renewed in view of the motion ex-parte earlier withdrawn,” the judge said.

The Judge had observed that he took cognizance of the fact that the DSS initially filed an ex-parte motion for extension of the detention order for another 20 days, but later withdrew the application through its lawyer, Godwin Abadua, and it was accordingly struck out.

He held that the application having been struck out, there was nothing before the court to warrant Sowore’s continued stay in detention.

Sowore was arrested by the DSS Saturday, August 3 for planning a nationwide protest tagged #RevolutionNow.

The Nigerian government filed additional charges against Sowore on Friday, September 20, a day before the completion of the initial 45 days the court allowed the DSS to keep him in custody.

Sowore’s lawyer Femi Falana in an earlier affidavit told the court “that the applicant (Sowore) herein has never been charged with any criminal offence whatsoever” and should be granted bail.

He explained “that the Nigeria police also conducted investigation on the matter and made its findings public” and did not incriminate Sowore as alleged.

Two previous bail applications challenging his detention by DSS had were rejected by the court.

Sowore was charged on offences of treasonable felony, money laundering, terrorism and plots to overthrow President Muhammadu Buhari.