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Sowore Vs DSS: Court Strikes Out DSS Motion As Sowore’s Bail Hearing Commences

Sowore was abducted and detained by the Department of State Services for organizing a series of protests against bad governance in Nigeria tagged, #RevolutionNow.

The federal high court sitting in Abuja has heard arguments for and against the release of pro-democracy campaigner and human rights activist, Omoyele Sowore.

Sowore was abducted and detained by the Department of State Services for organising a series of protests against bad governance in Nigeria tagged, #RevolutionNow.

Initial Stall

Just as the case was about to commence, Femi Falana, counsel to the defendant prayed Justice Taiwo Taiwo, the presiding judge to grant a delay in proceedings until 11 am to accommodate more of Sowore’s counsels who were on their way.

Proceedings

At the commencement of proceedings, the prosecution counsel for the DSS, G.O A Agbadua, said an ex parte motion dated September 20, 2019 had been overtaken by events.

He asked for the motion to be struck out by the court.

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Femi Falana, the defence counsel argued that the motion should not be withdrawn so that the DSS would not reapply for another detention order.

Shortly after hearing both arguments, the judge struck out the the ex parte motion by the DSS.

Falana further prayed the court to order the immediate release of Sowore since the order of the court granted in favour of the DSS on August 8 2019 has expired.

He sought to withdraw the application for bail because, according to him, it had been overtaken by events and that Sowore was not charged with terrorism.

Falana asked the court to discharge the application for vacation of 45 days court order.

The prosecution counsel argued that Sowore was charged with a capital offence, conspiracy to commit treason and by the provision of the constitution in section 161 could only be admitted to bail by a judge of a higher court under exceptional circumstances.

Agbadua said in the interest of justice and national security, the DSS requested that the court make an order that the bail or otherwise of Sowore be determined by the court that will hear the criminal trial.

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But Falana countered that the filing of an application should not metamorphose into a remand order.

He referred the court to the case of MKO Abiola 1995 vs FG where the appellant was charged with treasonable felony and the court granted him bail on self-recognition.

After hearing the final submissions, Justice Taiwo sought an abrupt break.

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