Journalism of Courage

BREAKING: Omoyele Sowore freed at last


At last, the convener of #RevolutionNow protest, Omoyele Sowore, has been set free from the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS).

Persecondnews reports that Sowore was released freed at the DSS headquarters in Abuja about 6.20 pm on Tuesday.

Hordes journalists and cameramen had massed to catch a glimpse of him and interview him.

The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami (SAN) had directed the DSS to release the Sahara Reporters publisher and the immediate past National Security Adviser, retired Col. Sambo Dasuki.

The directive followed the decision by President Muhammadu Buhari to comply with the court orders granting bails to Sowore and Dasuki.

Dasuki has been in the DSS custody since December 2015 while  Sowore, who has been in custody since Aug. 6 this year, was rearrested on December 6, barely 24 hours after he was released by the DSS.

Malami had said in a statement that the federal government decided to obey the court orders granting bails to Dasuki and Sowore.

He, however, said he might file an appeal against the court orders as the two men enjoy their bail conditions.

The PUNCH had, in a strongly worded editorial published on December 11, 2019, condemned what it called the “lawlessness of the regime of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).’’

Citing the “illegal detentions of Sowore and Dasuki’’ as part of the regime’s acts of disobedience to court orders and disregard for the rule of law, the paper adopted an editorial policy of prefixing Buhari’s name by his last military rank of Major General until his regime retraces its steps.

Malami’s statement reads: “The Office of the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation has reviewed the pending criminal charges against the duo of Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd.) and Omoyele Sowore.

“Whilst the Federal High Court has exercised its discretion in granting bail to the defendants in respect of the charges against them, I am also not unmindful of the right of the Complainant/Prosecution to appeal or further challenge the grant of bail by the court, having regard to extant legal provisions, particularly Section 169 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015.

“However, my office has chosen to comply with the court orders while considering the pursuit of its rights of appeal and/or review of the order relating to the bail as granted or varied by the courts.

“In line with the provisions of Section 150(1) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), and in compliance with the bail granted to Col. Sambo Dasuki (Rtd) (as recently varied by the Court of Appeal); and the bail granted to Omoyele Sowore, I have directed the State Security Services to comply with the order granting bail to the defendants and effect their release.

“The two defendants are enjoined to observe the terms of their bail and refrain from engaging in any act that is inimical to public peace and national security, as well as their ongoing trial which will run its course in accordance with the laws of the land.

“I wish to reiterate again the utmost regard of my office for the entire judicial structure of Nigeria.

“This administration remains unrelenting in deepening the rule of law and the administration of justice in general.”

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