The Department of State Service has defended the continued detention of the convener of the #RevolutionNow protests, Mr Omoyele Sowore. Addressing a news conference in Abuja on Tuesday, the spokesman for the Service, Mr Peter Afunanya, insisted that the appropriate persons have not come for his release.
He claimed that personnel of the service were being threatened and despite that, the DSS has continued to hold the rights of citizens in high standard. The DSS spokesman explained that those who came for Sowore’s release were protesters and administrative procedures must be followed for him to be released. He stressed that only the persons who stood as sureties for Sowore can secure his release from the DSS custody.
Sowore has remained in the custody of the Service, weeks after a Federal High Court in Abuja granted him bail along with his co-defendant, Mr Olawale Bakare, with some conditions. Both men were arraigned by the Federal Government on charges of treasonable felony and money laundering among others, but they have since pleaded not guilty.
Thereafter, human rights activist and senior advocate of Nigeria, Mr Femi Falana, announced that his clients – Sowore and Bakare, have met their conditions. Following the announcement, many thought Sowore would be released but he has remained in the DSS custody.
In a statement issued on November 8, the Service confirmed that it had received the court order but nobody has come to “take delivery” of Sowore. It said it would never obstruct justice or disobey court orders but would rather do the needful as soon as the appropriate processes have been concluded.
Four days later, a group of people stormed the DSS office in Abuja to protest against the continued detention of Sowore, but they were dispersed by officials of the Service. While the demonstration was ongoing, rights activist and leader of the protest Deji Adeyanju claimed that he was offered the sum of N1million by some persons at gunpoint to suspend the protest.