The federal high court has struck out the application by the Department of State Services seeking to further detain the convener of #RevolutionNow protest, Omoyele Sowore.
This follows the withdrawal of the application by the state counsel.
Mr. Sowore’s lawyer, Femi Falana, is right now persuading the court to order immediate release of his client as the prosecution is no longer interested to detain him further.
Counsel to the DSS is, however, challenging the oral application for release saying that a formal suits have been filed where Mr. Sowore is being accused of treasonable felony which is a capital offence
Mr. Sowore, the publisher of online news platform, Sahara Reporters, was arrested on August 3rd, two days before a rally tagged RevolutionNnow for allegedly plotting to overthrow an elected government.
The prosecutor is asking the Court to deny the respondent bail due to the fresh charges filed against him.
In response counsel to Sowore said the application for bail was withdrawn and the prosecutor’s application for further remand was also withdrawn. He stressed that the new charges can’t metamorphose In a remand order.
Mr. Falana urged the court to disregard the submission on the prosecutor. Mr Falana said the prosecutor can not asked the court to detain a citizen prospectively and in anticipation of the arraignment of the defendant order his detention.
Mr. Falana is arguing that Sowore is not facing a capital offence and cannot be detained based on that. He noted that Sowore was charged with insulting the president, money laundering and conspiracy to commit treason, all of which are not capital offences.
Falana completed his argument for Sowore’s release by noting that the DSS lacks the competence to ask for the detention of his client based on national security and/or facts that are not before the court.
The judge stood down the case after hearing arguments from legal teams of Sowore and the DSS.
Leading Sowore’s team, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), noted that the order issued by the court on August 8, 2019 permitting the DSS to hold the activist for 45 days, had expired on September 21.
He urged the court to issue a consequential order releasing the publisher of SaharaReporters from custody.
But responding, DSS’ lawyer, G.O Agbadua, said that since the charges had been filed against the activist on September 20, it was lawful to continue to keep him until arraignment.
But Falana said, “Filing of charges cannot metamorphose into a detention order.
“A citizen cannot detain a citizen in anticipation of arraignment.”