A federal high court in Abuja Thursday granted the Department of State Service (DSS) permission to detain the convener of #RevolutionNow movement, Omoyele Sowore, for 45 days. In a strange ruling that sent tongues wagging as to its legality, Justice Taiwo Taiwo added insult to injury saying the detention order is renewable after the expiration of the first 45 days on September 21.
The DSS on Tuesday filed an ex-parte application to keep Sowore for 90 days to investigate him over his call for revolution through the #RevolutionNow protests which held in some parts of the country on Monday, August 5. Sowore had said Nigeria needs revolution partly because the February elections were not credible, along with a list of other issues ranging from corruption to ineptitude.
“We don’t want war,” Sowore said in a July video. “We want a very clean, quick, succinct revolutionary process - surgical. That we put an end to the shenanigans of government, that we put an end to oppression, the corruption of government.”
Sowore was picked up at his residence by DSS operatives in the early hours of Saturday after the FG said the calls for revolution were unlawful.
Justice Taiwo, said he had to grant the application, “only to the extent” of allowing the security agency to keep the respondent in custody for only 45 days for the applicant to conclude its investigation.
Taiwo said, although the hearing of the application was one-sided as provided by 27(1) of the Terrorism (Prevention) Amendment Act, the use of the word, “may”, in the provision “is a directory” and not “discretionary”.
He said he would, therefore, be failing in his duty not to grant the request for a detention order. He ruled that the applicant requires more time to conclude its investigation after the expiration of the first 45 days, it has the liberty to apply for a renewal.