Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), counsel to detained convener of #RevolutionNow protest, Omoyele Sowore, on Friday accused the Department of State Services (DSS) of lying when they said they were still holding his client and Olawale Bakare because none of their lawyers was available to take delivery of them from custody since Thursday.
The DSS acknowledged the receipt of the court order for the release of the two men but said it did not release them because there was no lawyer to receive them.
But Falana, in a statement said the DSS decided not to release his two clients to his lawyers who waited in vain for not less than four hours at the DSS headquarters in Abuja on Thursday.
According to him, three lawyers, Stanley Imhanruor, Effiong Inihebe and Marshal Abubakar, were at the DSS office to serve the release warrants on the agency in anticipation of returning home with the two men on Thursday to no avail.
Falana however added that since the DSS have acknowledged the service of the warrants for his clients’ release, two lawyers from his law firm would be at the DSS office to take the two detainees home on Saturday.
He said, “On November 6, 2019, the bailiff of the Federal High Court in Abuja wanted to serve the reproduction warrants issued by the court on the Director-General of the State Security Service.
“But the SSS asked the bailiff to call back at 10.00 am on November 7, 2019.
“The bailiff did and served the reproduction warrants on the DG of the SSS.
“Upon acknowledging the service of the reproduction warrants, the SSS assured the bailiff and lawyers from the defence team that our clients would be released yesterday (Thursday).
“But the SSS decided not to release our clients to our lawyers who waited in vain for not less than four hours.
“When Sowore said that he would not make a statement without first consulting with me, the SSS management called me on phone on August 8, 2019.
“It is pertinent to point out that the meaning of reproduction warrant issued by a trial court is that the defendants be produced for the purpose of releasing them having met their bail conditions.
“In the instant case, the Federal High Court did not order the SSS to hand over Messrs Sowore and Bakare to any person but to produce them for the purpose of releasing them having met the suffocating bail conditions imposed on them by the trial court.
“Even though the SSS disobeyed the order of Justice Taiwo Taiwo for the release of Mr. Sowore on September 24, 2019, it has announced its readiness to comply with the order of Justice Ifeoma Ojukwu for the release of Sowore and Bakare from illegal custody.
“While thanking the Nigerian people for demanding for unconditional compliance with the orders of the Federal High Court we have directed two lawyers from our law firm to contact the management of the SSS for the release of our clients at 10.00 am on November 9, 2019.”