Journalism of Courage

After 100 days in custody, Sowore slams N500m suit against DSS for rights violation

After more than 100 days in custody, Omoyele Sowore, the Convener of #RevolutionNow movement and publisher of SaharaReporters, has slammed a N500 million suit against the Department of State Services (DSS), for his arrest and continued detention.

Sowore, who has been detained since August 3, 2019, is asking the court to order the DSS to pay him N500 million as general and aggravated damages for his detention and violation of his rights.

Joined in the suit is Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar  Malami (SAN).

Among others, he wants a declaration that his detention from November 7, 2019 till date in violation of the order for his release made on November 6, 2019 is illegal as it
violates his fundamental right to liberty guaranteed by Section 35 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).

It also violates Article 6 of African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement Act (CAP A10) Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.

In addition, Sowore is seeking an order of the court compelling the respondents to pay to him the sum of N500,000,000 ( Five hundred million naira) as general and aggravated damages for  the violation of his fundamental right to life, dignity of his person, fair hearing, health, freedom of movement and freedom of association.

Also an order of perpetual injunction restraining the respondents from further violating his fundamental rights in any manner whatsoever and without lawful justification.

The activist and journalist was arrested in Lagos on August 3for “for threatening public safety, peaceful co-existence and social harmony in the country.

Two Federal High Courts in Abuja had granted Sowore bails and ordered his release and his co-defendant, Olawale Bakare, on fulfillment of the bail conditions.

His lawyer, Mr Femi Falana (SAN) said the bail conditions have been met and accused the  DSS of violating the constitution of the country and the courts’ orders.

DSS had this week told a media briefing that “nobody came forward to receive Sowore’’ and Falana insisted he should be released unconditionally.

He said accused the DSS of playing games and refusing to release the two activists.

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