Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, SAN, has stated that the court order for the release of Sahara Reporters Publisher, Mr. Omoyele Sowore and Olawale Bakare is not subject to approval by Department of State Services (DSS.
Falana’s statement is coming on the heels of a recent statement by the DSS that they could not just release Sowore – who had, since November 6, been granted bail by the court – to just anyone.
The spokesperson for the DSS, Peter Afunanya, had told journalists in Abuja on Tuesday that Sowore’s lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN), was yet to come fetch him from their facility, a statement which the human rights lawyer had vehemently denied.
Afunanya had said, “We cannot just release Sowore and ask him to go because he may be knocked down by a vehicle at the gate.”
”Documentation is imperative in the discharge of security duties, and that those who stood as sureties for Sowore in court, should come forward and do proper documentation with the service so that he (Sowore) can be released to them.”
However, in a statement made available to The Interview today (Thursday), Falana said that the court order for the release of the two detainees did not authorise DSS to approve sureties before releasing them.
The statement read, “Pursuant to the verification of the sureties of Omoyele Sowore and Olawale Bakare by the Federal High Court, the trial judge, the Honourable Justice Ifeoma Ojukwu made an order on November 6, 2019 for the release of the defendants from the custody of the DSS.
The Court Order has not authorised the DSS to approve the sureties before releasing Sowore and Bakare from custody.”