Court Order to Release Sowore No Longer Valid: DSS

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SWITZERLAND, SEPTEMBER 30 – The Department of State Service (DSS) has said that the Federal High Court’s order for the release of Omoleye Sowore is no longer valid considering the current arraignment.


The DSS also denied claims that it denied Sowore and his co-defendant access to their lawyers
However, A. Olumide, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), who is holding brief for Femi Falana, Sowore’s counsel, said that the defendant was denied access to his lawyer.

The Department of State Service (DSS) has denied claims that the publisher of Sahara Reporters, Omoyele Sowore, and his co-defendant were not allowed access to their lawyers.


The DSS denial followed an allegation by A. Olumide, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) who is holding brief for Femi Falana, Sowore’s counsel, that the defendants were not allowed access to their lawyers prior to their arraignment on Monday, September 30.

The counsel for the DSS, Hassan Liman, said, contrary to Olumide’s claim, the charge sheet was made available to the defendants on September 20, which is 10 days ago.


DSS Liman also said that it will be a disservice to the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) to say that the prosecution failed to allow the defendants access to their lawyers prior to arraignment. He also noted that the judgement of the court which the defence counsel had referred to in his allegation was made by Justice Taiwo Taiwo, pending arraignment.


Liman said: “With respect to the defendant’s arraignment, this order no longer has any life.” He also accused the defence and their counsel of playing to the gallery and using the press against the DSS.

Furious over Liman’s submission, Olumide said his colleague gave wrong information to the court.
He also said there was no interaction between the defendants and their counsel prior to the arraignment. He added that orders of the court must be obeyed before anyone can come to the same court for other benefits.

Olumide said that it was only late Sunday, September 29, that the defence team, through the pages of newspapers, found out that Sowore has allegedly been served papers for arraignment. “It was also on the pages of newspapers that my learned colleague, Falana, got to know that his client has been ‘served’. “They are the ones running to the media and playing to the gallery, my lord,” a seemingly angry Olumide told the court.


Today’s Echo reported that the DSS on Friday, September 27, stopped Sowore’s lawyers from accessing its Abuja office. The counsels were at the office to present documents showing that he met the bail conditions for the treason and money laundering charges that were levelled against him.

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