The Department of State Services (DSS) has insisted that it is ready to release the convener of RevolutionNow Movement, Omoyele Sowore, but the appropriate persons have not turned up to get him.
“For emphasis, the Service reiterates its avowed readiness to release SOWORE once the processes are concluded. It maintains that the appropriate persons have still not turned up to take delivery of SOWORE,” the DSS said in a statement by its spokesperson, Mr Peter Afunanya, on Wednesday, five days after it confirmed receipt of the order of the Federal High Court granting Sowore bail.
It added, “It is only appropriate that those who stood surety for SOWORE present themselves and have him released to them.”
The continued detention of Sowore, days after his lawyers announced that he has met his bail conditions have led to disagreements between the agency and his legal team, supporters, activists and groups such as SERAP.
One area of disagreement is the claim by the DSS last week that no one has showed up to get Sowore, a position disputed by his lawyers, led by Senior Advocate of Nigeria and human rights activist, Femi Falana.
Falana in a statement on November 9 described the DSS’ position as totally misleading, stressing that lawyers from Sowore’s defense team waited for over four hours at the agency’s headquarters for his release but that did not happen.
But the DSS argued in its statement on Wednesday that those who have so far shown up are not directly concerned with the matter and, therefore, unqualified.
Commenting further on the reactions to the continued detention of Sowore, the DSS said, “In the last few days, the Service has continued to witness deliberate campaigns of calumny, threats and aspersions against it. It will not, for any reason, join issues with its mudslingers.”
It also accused Mr Falana of wrongly guiding Sowore.
“He is rather playing to the gallery and mobilizing miscreants to subvert the Service and other state authorities. He has excellent relationship with the DGSS. But in the circumstance, he has refused to reach out to him over the case like he had on previously related ones,” the DSS said.
The DSS spokesman, who called for calm, also said the agency would not waste a second to release Sowore if the proper processes are followed, adding Falana knows what needs to be done to get his client released.
Sowore’s continued detention led some Nigerians to stage a protest, at the DSS headquarters on Tuesday, demanding his release.
However, during the protest, security agents dispersed the crowd with tear gas and gunshots.
While reports from protesters and some media clips suggest that the security operatives shot at crowd, the agency denied the reports in its statement insisting its operatives did not open fire on “alleged protesters” who had “stormed” its facility.
“As a normal global security practice, the operatives stood in defence of their facility when some group of persons made unruly attempts to forcefully break into the place and effect the release of Omoloye Sowore.
“Despite serial and unwarranted provocations, the Service, as a professional and responsible Organisation, did not shoot at the so-called protesters. It could not have done so,” the DSS stated.