Court gives DSS 24 hours to release Sowore, Bakare
The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, on Thursday, gave a 24-hour ultimatum to the Department of State Security Service (DSS) to release the publisher of Sahara Reporters and convener of #RevolutionNow protest, Omoyele Sowore, and his co-defendant, Olawale Bakare.
Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu gave the order at the commencement of the defendants’ trial on Thursday.
Sowore has been in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS) for 124 days after he was arrested in Lagos on August 3, 2019.
He was arraigned alongside Olawale Bakare on a seven-count charge bordering on treasonable felony, cyberstalking, and money laundering.
The judge noted that she signed the warrants for release of the defendants from custody, and the same was served on the defendants, therefore, the DSS had no reason not to release them.
She said: “I remember I signed the release warrant and I went through everything with the registrar before I signed and I wonder why you have disobeyed till now.”
The judge then awarded the cost of N100,000 against the prosecution to be paid to the defendants for refusing to obey the order of court requesting that the defendants be released and also not serving the defence counsel with necessary documents early.
She ordered that the penalty must be paid before the next hearing.
The judge adjourned the matter till Friday.
She blamed the adjournment of trial on the prosecution which she said failed to comply with her order of November 6 directing them to serve some documents on the defence team.