Human rights lawyer Femi Falana (SAN and lawyer for Omoyele Sowore, RevolutionNow convener and publisher of Sahara Reporters has painted a grim picture of what transpired at the Federal High Court in Abuja last Friday from the time the court premises were invaded by officers of the Department of State Services (DSS), until when Sowore was finally remanded in DSS custody from where he had been granted bail after spending over 124 days in custody.
Speaking in Lagos at an event to mark the adoption of the Charter on UN Declaration of Human Rights, Falana stated that “what happened in court last week has never happened before. There is no way they would have taken Sowore away, as it would have been so bloody.” Falana further said that some of the DSS operatives “disguised in lawyer’s black and white suit” to re-arrest him in the court.
He alleged: “We discovered that the government brought miscreants to demonstrate against Sowore, but there was a crowd of young people and women. Some of the women were half-naked and were ready to demonstrate against the monstrosity that was taking place
“We have seen him (Sowore) brutalized physically in the court, and members of the legal team had to quickly meet and resolve that if we left him at that place, he may be killed or since the DSS said a truck may run over him, we didn’t want that to happen. So, we agreed that I should take him to the DSS headquarters. I asked him to get into my car which he did.
On our way, as soon as we got to the Federal Secretariat, the DSS surrounded us, disrupted traffic and said I must transfer him to their vehicle and I said you either kill him or kill me here, and I will not take that risk because you are masked, you might be kidnappers and I will not transfer him.”
Falana insisted that “what Sowore demanded for was a warrant of arrest and they couldn’t produce it and that was when he resisted their arrest. So we have to get prepared to defend our rights.” Besides, Prof. Akin Oyebode, who was the guest speaker, also condemned the development.
In the same vein, the national chairman of National Conscience Party (NCP), Dr. Yunusa Tanko, has asked the Federal Government to come out clean on the incident. He was reacting yesterday in Abuja to the viral video on the social media where Sowore was allegedly harassed by the secret police in court. Tanko said “that type of impunity whereby the temple of justice is being desecrated needs to be checkmated as quickly as possible.”