Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana has urged the Department of State Service to release Omoyele Sowore and Olawale Bakare as soon as possible after the agency’s claim that the activists were not released because their sureties have refused to show up.
Reacting to the statement, Femi Falana told the DSS to stop ridiculing Nigeria with its excuses for keeping them in custody despite the court’s order to release them.
According to the lawyer, their excuses are baseless and his client should be released.
His words, “Even when five of us were charged with treasonable felony in May 1992, we were released after we had met the bail conditions.
“On that occasion, the SSS never asked our sureties to report after they had been verified by the trial court. I demand for nothing less for my clients under the current political dispensation which ought to be anchored on the Rule of Law.
“Finally, I confirm that I have an official relationship with the DG of SSS.
“But since the commencement of the case of Sowore and Bakare the DG has refused to pick my calls while I have since become a persona non grata in the office of the SSS.
“With respect to the baseless allegation that I am playing to the gallery by demanding for the release of my clients in line with the valid and subsisting order of a competent law court I shall take appropriate action under the law.
“Meanwhile, the SSS should release our clients from illegal custody and should stop exposing the country to unwarranted ridicule”.
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Omoyele Sowore (born 16 February 1971) is a Nigerian human rights activist, pro-democracy campaigner, former presidential candidate, and founder of online news agency Sahara Reporters, On August 3, 2019 Sowore was arrested by Nigeria Department of Security Services (DSS) for treason allegation after calling for a protest tagged RevolutionNow.
Omoyele Sowore is from Ese-Odo, Ondo State in South West Nigeria. Contrary to popular belief, Sowore is of Ijaw Apoi tribe and not the Ilaje tribe in Ese-Odo. Sowore was born in the Niger Delta region of the country where he was also raised in a polygamous home with sixteen children. At 12, he learnt how to ride a motorcycle so that he could fish at the lake for the entire family before going to school every morning. Sowore’s passion and desire in media was propelled during the military rule in Nigeria.
Sowore studied Geography and Planning at the University of Lagos from 1989 to 1995 with his academic program extended by two extra years after being expelled twice for political reasons and student activism. He was the President of the University of Lagos Student Union Government between 1992 and 1994 where he was involved in anti-cultism and anti-corruption advocacy. Sowore claimed he was attacked and beaten by some cultists.
On February 25, 2018, Sowore announced his intention to run for president in the 2019 Nigerian general election. In August 2018, he founded a political party, the African Action Congress (AAC), for which he will run for in 2019.
On October 6, 2018, following successful primary elections at the AAC’s national convention, Omoyele Sowore emerged unchallenged as the Presidential Candidate for the party.
After touring many states in Nigeria, visiting dignitaries such as the Emir of Kano and Wole Soyinka, Sowore embarked on a fundraising tour around the world including Australia, the United States of America and the UK. He was in Luton (London) on the 10th of November, 2018.
Sowore flouted debate rules of engagement through naming and shaming corrupt members of the opposition party.