Department of State Services on Friday re-arrested and detained Omoyele Sowore, founder of the Revolution Now campaign. The arrest came barely 24 hours after they released him.
Moments after he was re-detained, Mr. Sowore’s lawyer, Femi Falana, told Channels Television about the development. Here are five takeaways from what he said.
DSS ‘Disrupted’ Court Proceedings to Arrest Sowore
After his release Thursday evening, Sowore was set to appear in court the next day. He did, accompanied by Mr. Falana and some of his supporters.
The high court in Abuja, presided by Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu, was sitting to ascertain whether the DSS had complied with its order directing the release of Mr. Sowore and his co-defendant, Olawale Bakare.
However, after the judge adjourned the case between Sowore and the federal government till February 2020, DSS officials swooped in.
“ . . . the SSS operatives pounced on the court, disrupted proceedings and then attempted to arrest our clients even in the web of the court.”
‘It was extremely embarrassing’
Mr. Falana described the ensuing scenario as “extremely embarrassing.
“It has never happened in Nigeria where you enter a court to arrest anybody, even an alleged coup-plotter. The atmosphere was very rowdy.”
Footages obtained by Channels Television showed Mr. Sowore involved in a scuffle inside the courtroom.
‘No arrest can take place within the court premises’
Faced with the “rowdy” situation, Mr. Falana insisted to DSS officials that they had no right to arrest Sowore within the premises of a court.
“I insisted that the arrest could not be carried out within the precinct of the court,” Mr. Falana said.
A crowd resisted Sowore’s arrest
Footages obtained by Channels Television showed people standing in front of DSS vehicles in order to frustrate their plans to arrest Sowore in court.
“He was going to be arrested outside the premises but there was a crowd that resisted the arrest, but I appealed to everybody and asked Sowore to jump into my car and so we drove to the office of the SSS because they said he will just answer a few questions, but now he is being detained,” Mr. Falana said.
Why was Sowore arrested?
Apparently, no one knows yet, not even Mr. Falana.
“Nobody has disclosed yet what his charges are; he couldn’t have committed any other offense because he has been detained for the past four months unless the SSS wants to tell the whole world that he committed this fresh offense while in their custody,” Mr. Falana said.
Mr. Falana said he will explore provisions of the law to secure his client’s release.
“We are going to take steps under the law by asking for his release again since they are claiming this is a fresh arrest,” he said.