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The House of Representatives on Tuesday said it will investigate last Friday’s invasion of a Federal High Court in Abuja by some masked men suspected to be security agents.
The hooded men attempted to re-arrest #RevolutionNow Convener Omoyele Sowore inside the courtroom, after his release from the custody of the Department of State Service (DSS).
The House resolution followed a motion of urgent public importance sponsored by Minority Leader Ndudi Elumelu.
The lawmaker said the invasion was an embarrassment to the nation.
Elumelu expressed dismay about what he called exhibition of thuggery, brute force, lawlessness, contempt and disregard for the rule of law by the yet-to-be-identified persons within the precinct of the court.
The lawmaker said the videos of the incident, which have gone viral, show the suspected DSS operative attempting to bundle Sowore and his co-accused, Olawale Bakare, away from the court room, while Sowore’s supporters were resisting them.
He described the action as an abuse to the sanctity of the court room.
Elumelu said members of the civil society claimed that the unidentified masked men were agents of the DSS, while the department had denied, through its spokesman Peter Afunanya, that its personnel were never involved in the incident.
Speaker Gbajabiamila said the lawmakers must find out what actually happened to know the action to take about it.
Activist-lawyer Femi Falana (SAN) has asked the Federal Government to stop subjecting #RevolutionNow Convener Omowole Sowore and his co-defendant, Olawale Bakare, to media trial.
He said the government should instead advise the prosecution to begin their trial without any delay, if it is sure that they have committed treasonable felony or any other offence.
In a statement yesterday in Lagos, Falana said: “When Mr. Omoyele Sowore was arrested on August 2, 2019, the State Security Service (SSS), now called the Department of State Service (DSS), accused him of engaging in terrorist activities. On the basis of the allegation, the SSS obtained an order from the Honourable Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Federal High Court to detain Sowore for 45 days in order to investigate his alleged terrorist activities.
“But at the end of the investigation, he was not linked with terrorism in any material particular. Hence, he was not charged with any offence under the Terrorism Prevention Act, 2011, as amended.
“The SSS also claimed, in a sworn affidavit, that Sowore had travelled to Dubai to collect millions of dollars to overthrow the Muhammadu Buhari administration. But when the SSS later found that Sowore has never travelled to Dubai or any part of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the monstrous allegation was jettisoned.
“Even though the allegations of terrorism and treasonable felony against Sowore had collapsed like a pack of cards, the Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN), engaged in a face-saving measure by charging him and Bakare with treasonable felony for planning to organise public protests against the Buhari administration.
“Not sure that the charge of treasonable felony would succeed in the court, the AGF proceeded to charge Sowore with cyber stalking for allegedly insulting President Buhari in a television interview and money laundering…”
Vanguard publisher, Mr. Sam Amuka, yesterday gave reasons behind the visit of some media chiefs to Omoyele Sowore in DSS detention.
He said the visit was not to persuade the detainee to stop attacking the government and to make the DSS understand the implication of its actions.
Amuka spoke at the launch of a book, titled: The Big Interviews, written by Mr. Eric Osagie.
The publisher said he and some other people visited the DSS to request for Sowore’s release.
He said: “Some of you might have heard about this Sowore’s matter. I was among the persons that went to DSS.
“What was published online that you saw and heard is the opposite of what actually happened. Indeed, we went to the DSS but it was to tell the DSS to release Sowore because we believed that keeping him was not good for the government. It was not to negotiate with Sowore to come to terms with the government.”