Human rights lawyer, Mr Femi Falana, SAN, has written to the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami (SAN), seeking the release of the convener of ‘RevolutionNow’ protest, Omoyele Sowore, from the custody of the Department of State Services.
Falana’s letter, dated December 13, 2019 and made available to journalists on Sunday, followed the Friday’s announcement by the AGF office that it had taken over the prosecution of Sowore and his co-defendant, Olawale Bakare, from the DSS.
The AGF’s takeover of the case was informed by the widely condemned invasion of the Federal High Court in Abuja by the operatives of the DSS to re-arrest Sowore on December 6.
Falana, who heads the defence team of the two men, informed Malami that his letter became necessary after two lawyers in the team visited the DSS headquarters in Abuja to demand Sowore’s release but were advised to direct their request to him (Malami).
The letter titled, ‘Request for the release of Omoyele Sowore from illegal custody’, read, in part, “Following the announcement of your decision to take over the case of the Federal Republic of Nigeria V Omoyele Sowore and another, two members of the legal defence team visited the headquarters of the State Security Service on December 13, 2019 to demand the immediate release of Sowore from illegal custody.
“Our colleagues were however advised to direct the request to your office in view of the fact that you have taken over the case from the State Security Service.
“In the light of the foregoing, we hereby request you to use your good offices to direct the State Security Service to release Sowore from custody in line with the order of the Federal High Court admitting him to bail pending trial. We are confident that you will not hesitate to grant our request as no court has issued any remand order for his detention.”