Journalism of Courage

DSS invasion of courtroom: Senate joins House of Reps to launch investigation


Joining forces with the House of Representatives, the Senate has begun probe of the invasion of a Federal High Court, Abuja, by operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) to rearrest Omoyele Sowore on December 6.

To this end, it has directed its Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal matters to investigate the incident which attracted local and global condemnation.

This followed a point of order moved by the Chairman of the committee, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele (APC-Ekiti).

According to him, the incident had Nigerians had raised a lot of concern in different quarters on the issue.

He said equally the leadership and members of the judiciary were particularly concerned about the development.

Bamidele, a lawyer, reechoeed the nation’s judiciary belief that the courtroom should be a sanctuary.

“The Senate must act on it as representatives of the people.

“I rise to draw the attention of this Senate to a matter that has been in public domain and especially, as the chairman of the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, the reported alleged invasion of the courtroom, again, by alleged officials of the Department of State Services.

“It is one issue that has raised a lot of concern in different quarters in Nigeria.

“The leadership and members of the judiciary are particularly concerned about this development.

“They believe, like the rest of us do, that the courtroom is meant to be a sanctuary; but, for us as Senate, we cannot begin to take a position or analyse the issues based on conclusion without facts that we consider incontrovertible.

“Yet, much as we cannot just jump into conclusions, it is also a fact that we cannot pretend not to know that Nigerians are concerned about this development.

“The reason I have chosen to come under Order 43 is so that I will not generate any controversy or even make the Senate to begin to debate or engage in a debate over an issue in respect of which we still need to have incontrovertible facts and evidence,’’ he said.

Bamidele continued: “In view of this, I just want to say that as elected representatives of the people in whom Nigerians — including the judiciary — must find their voice that we mandate our Committee on National Security and Intelligence to interface with the relevant security agencies.

“They should look into this matter, investigate what happened and report back to the Senate on this matter.”

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