The Department of State Services, DSS, has alleged in fresh papers filed before the Federal High Court, Abuja that the convener of #RevolutionNow protests, Omoyele Sowore, met with “foreign collaborators” in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, and other countries and received “millions of dollars” to topple the Muhammadu Buhari government.
The DSS made the allegation in a counter-affidavit filed on August 16, 2019 in opposition to Sowore’s application challenging the August 8, 2019 order of Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Federal High Court Abuja allowing the agency to detain him for 45 days.
A DSS lawyer, Godwin Agbadua, deposed to the counter-affidavit, stating that the agency arrested Sowore “on reasonable suspicion of his involvement in terrorist activities” and “of having committed a capital offence”.
In the affidavit, the security agency stated that Sowore received the money from the alleged collaborators to sponsor attacks in Nigeria with the aim of toppling the government and ensuring the release of the detained leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Ibraheem El-Zakzaky.
Interestingly, the DSS failed to disclose the identities of the alleged foreign collaborators and the details of the meetings.
The affidavit partly read, “That the respondent held a series of meetings with some foreign collaborators outside Nigeria including Dubai where he was given millions of dollars to sponsor widespread attacks in Nigeria with a view to violently removing the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and freeing Ibraheem El-Zakzaky.
“That in furtherance of the plans to violently free El-Zakzaky from lawful custody, the respondent held several meetings with a proscribed terrorist organisation, Islamic Movement in Nigeria where they strategised on how to carry out attacks to force the government to free El-Zakzaky.”
It is further alleged that Sowore met with members of proscribed organisations, including the leader of Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, to hatch a plot to topple Buhari and free El-Zakzaky.
“That after a series of closed-door meetings with the duo in the United States, they addressed a press conference wherein they both stated their resolve to form an alliance against the Nigerian government. A Digital Video Display of the said press conference is annexed as exhibit SS1,” the document added.
The DSS said it needed more time to investigate the allegations against Sowore, explaining that upon the completion of the investigation “the case file will be forwarded to the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation for advice and possible prosecution”.
Mr. Sowore, the arrowhead of #RevolutionNow protests, was arrested on August 5 by DSS operatives in a Lagos hotel.
On August 8, the DSS obtained an order of the Federal High Court in Abuja permitting it to keep him for 45 days.
But his lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN), has said his client committed no offence known to Nigerian laws and therefore filed an application requesting the court to vacate the detention order on the grounds that it breached his fundamental rights and amounted to legalizing the illegality of his detention.
As at the time of filing this report, Sowore, has yet to file a response to the DSS counter-affidavit.