Human rights activist and lawyer to Omoyele Sowore, Femi Falana, has dismissed the claim of the Department of State Services (DSS), that it did not receive a court order to release Sowore.
DSS spokesperson Peter Afunaya, had said they were yet to receive the court order for Mr Sowore’s release in a statement he released which was authorized by the Director-General of the agency, Yusuf Bichi.
“We have not received the court order. And his (Sowore’s) counsel is a very senior member of the bar and he knows the process to follow,” Mr. Afunaya said.
When asked again if they have received the court papers in a telephone interview with Premium Times, the DSS spokesperson said “No we haven’t, thank you.”
Mr. Falana however countered the claim by stating that he personally served the secret police the order and the notice of compliance by his client. He further said they were not directed by the court to serve any notice to the DSS but he did that for avoidance of doubt.
“First of all, their lawyer was in court. And he heard the order when it was made. As a legal practitioner, he had an obligation to inform his client. Secondly, since Sowore was to be released to me, I have been going to the SSS office personally since Tuesday.
“We were not directed to serve them. But we did that for the avoidance of doubt. We submitted his passports, got the affidavit of compliance and I personally served them. I also sent the copies to the SSS DG through his phone line, because I have his personal phone line.
“We were there for hours. The head of the legal department pleaded with me to return today (Thursday). When I returned, they locked the SSS gates against me,” Mr. Falana said.
The Senior Advocate of Nigeria added that if the DSS is truly a law abiding institution, they would have sent their lawyers to verify if the Federal High Court ordered the release of Omoyele Sowore following report of its refusal to obey court orders in local and international media.
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“I’m not sure the person who is making this statement has the authorization of his principals. We have filed the form 48 regarding the contempt of court. And in that form, the court order was also included.
“The SSS has a duty to comply with this order and not only this one, but every other orders regarding the liberty of Nigerians, because this is a constitutional democracy,” .