Godwin Tsa, Abuja
The Abuja division of the Federal High Court presided over by Justice Inyang Ekwo equally has summoned the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami and the Director General of the Department of State Service (DSS) to appear before him on December 23 over the continued detention of Omoyele Sowore.
They are expected to show cause on why Sowore should not be released on bail, pending when they would file a charge against him if any.
The order was made sequel to an application by Sowore challenging his rearrest and continued detention by the DSS.
The judge also ordered service of both the court processes and order on the respondents.
Sowore and Olawale Bakare are standing trial on a 16-count charge bordering on treasonable felony, money laundering amongst others.
They pleaded not guilty and was granted bail in the sum of N100 million and N30 million respectively.
The DSS had refused to release them on bail even after the met their bail application, forcing Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu to issue a 24 hours order for their release.
However, Sowore was rearrested on December 6, shortly after he was released on bail by the DSS over a yet to be disclosed offence.
In a three paragraphs further affidavit in support of the motion exparte, the applicant prayed the court for an order for the production of the applicant for an unconditional release in pursuant of the release order made by the court on November 6.
Meanwhile, Femi Falana has said Abubakar Malami risks being removed as the attorney-general of the federation (AGF) if he fails to secure the release of Omoyele Sowore.
Last Friday, Malami took over Sowore’s case from the Department of State Services (DSS), and with this development, Falana, counsel to the activist, asked him to use his office to secure Sowore’s release.
The AGF, however, said he cannot take any decision on Sowore’s release.
Responding in a statement, Falana said the AGF has not taken note of the legal implications of taking over the case.
In fact, he said Malami risks being removed as the attorney-general of the federation if he fails to secure the release of Sowore.
“Since Mr. Malami has taken over the case of FRN v Sowore v Another he is deemed to possess ‘the constitutional powers in full and the responsibility for any decision thereupon rests solely on him.’
“Therefore, he cannot like Pontius Pilate wash of his hands with respect to the illegal detention of Sowore by the State Security Service.
“Furthermore, since section 287 of the Constitution has imposed a legal obligation on all authorities and persons in Nigeria to comply with the decisions of all competent courts the Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr. Malami is duty bound to direct the State Security Service to release Sowore on bail in compliance with the valid and subsisting order of the federal high court.”
The senior lawyer said on legal principle, they were compelled to ask the AGF to direct the DSS to release Sowore without further delay.