Human rights lawyer, Mr Femi Falana (SAN), said on Sunday the Federal Government had applied to the Federal High Court in Abuja for an order of transfer of his clients who were arrested for their call for the #RevolutionNow protest from the custody of the Department of State Service to prison.
The #RevolutionNow protest convener and publisher of SaharaReporters, Omoyele Sowore, and his co-detainee, Adebayo Bakare, have been in the custody of the DSS since August despite the orders of the Federal High Court in Abuja for their release.
Falana, in a letter dated December 1, 2019 and addressed to the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), requested the minister to direct the DSS to release his clients.
He urged Malami to ensure compliance with the orders of British courts and the ones issued by the Nigerian domestic courts.
He also threatened to report both Malami and the prosecutor appointed by the minister to prosecute Sowore and Bakare, Dr Hassan Liman (SAN), to both the Nigerian Bar Association and the Legal Practitioners’ Disciplinary Committee, to take disciplinary actions against them for allegedly encouraging the DSS to continue to disobey the court orders for his clients’ release.
Falana stated, “In treating the court order with provocative contempt, the State Security Service has insisted on approving the sureties of our clients after they have been verified by the Federal High Court.
“From the information at our disposal, there is no precedent whatsoever for the illegal demand.
“Instead of purging the security agency of such contempt of the Federal High Court, the prosecutor, Dr Hassan Liman (SAN), engaged by your good self to prosecute our clients, has curiously applied to the trial court to have them transferred to a correctional centre and detained indefinitely for having the temerity to question the illegal directive to produce their sureties.”
He added, “In view of the fact that the Federal Government has never given any precondition before complying with the orders of the British Court in the case of P & ID and other matters, we are compelled to request you to direct the State Security Service to comply with the orders of the Federal High Court for the unconditional release of our clients.
“Take notice that if you fail to accede to our request, we shall be compelled to carry out the firm instructions of our clients to pursue the contempt proceedings which have been initiated against Mr Yusuf Bichi, the Director-General of the State Security Service.
“In addition, we shall also report your good self and the prosecutor to the Nigerian Bar Association and the Legal Practitioners Privileges Committee for encouraging the State Security Service to treat orders of Nigerian courts with disdain while you are anxious to obey the orders of British courts.”