Journalism of Courage

Nigeria’s Justice Minister to DSS: Hands off, handover Sowore’s case

…directs immediate transfer of case file to his office

 

Amid smearing embarrassment and condemnation on the rearrest and trial of Omoyele Sowore by the Department of State Services (DSS), the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami, has taken over the case.

He has, therefore, ordered the DSS to hands off the trail of the Convener of the #RevolutionNow movement, Sowore.

Summarily, Malami has directed that the case file should be forwarded to his office that is pending before the Federal High Court, Abuja.

The order is part of deliberate effort to probe emerging issues related to the recent controversy surrounding Sowore’s case, statement from the Minister’s office said.

It referred to a December 11, 2019 letter sent on behalf of the AGF by the Solicitor-General of the Federation, Dayo Apata (SAN), to the Director-General of DSS, Yusuf Bichi, directing the security agency to “promptly forward all the case files” to the AGF office.

The letter by Apata, who doubles as the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Justice, was a response to a September 9, 2019 letter sent to the AGF.

“The Solicitor-General of the Federation and the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Justice, Dayo Apata, SAN, who signed the letter, referred to a letter from the DSS office on September 9, 2019”, Persecondnews quotes the statement in part.

Apata’s letter also states: “The Honourable Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice upon a further review of the case, has directed the immediate takeover of the prosecution of all charges in respect of Omoyole Sowore by the Federal Ministry of Justice, in line with the provisions of Sections 150(1) and 174 (1) (a-c) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).”

It, therefore, requested the Director to promptly forward all the case files” in respect of Omoyele Sowore to the Minister’s office.

Persecondnews recalls that operatives of the secret police were shown in viral video recording on December 6, trying to rearrest Sowore in the courtroom, a development that has been widely condemned locally and globally including U.S. and UK among others.

Both the Nigerian Senate and the House of Representatives have condemned the incident and have launched a probe into it.

Prof. Itse Sagay, Prof. Wole Soyinka, lawyers, the Nigerian Bar Association and the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs under the Sultan of Sokoto has also condemned the high-handedness and disrespect for the rule law.

Sowore, who is standing trial for treasonable felony instituted against him by the federal government, was released a day before after the court had given a 24-hour ultimatum for his release. He was first arrested on August 3 in Lagos by the DSS.

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