The Department of State Services (DSS) has denied the media reports that it arrested journalist and activist, Mr. Omoyele Sowore within the premises of the Federal High Court, Abuja on Friday 6th December, 2019.
The DSS said in a press release signed by its Public Relations Officer, Peter Afunanya, Ph.D that ‘it is instructive to note that during the court proceeding of the day under reference, Defence Counsel, Femi FALANA (SAN), called the attention of the Judge to a suspicion that the Service was planning to re-arrest Omoyele SOWORE immediately after the court session.
“The Court discountenanced his alarm and asserted that the Service was law abiding and would not engage in such and subsequently adjourned to February, 2020.”
Afunanya stated that when SOWORE stepped out of the court and sighted operatives of the Service within the premises, he ran back into the courtroom.
He added that in a bid to shield him from an imaginary arrest, “his uncontrollable supporters mobbed him while chanting “you can’t arrest him” thus the pandemonium that ensued.”
The DSS emphasised in the release that was made available to the media on Saturday that eyewitness and several media accounts have disclosed that the Court had adjourned peacefully without an untoward incident “when suddenly the unruly crowd imported into the Courtroom went into frenzy on the mere suspicion that DSS was sighted at the court premises.
“The eventual re-arrest of Sowore by the DSS was effected outside the courtroom. His lead counsel has affirmed this.”
The DSS added that as a professional, responsible and law abiding Organization, it could not have invaded a courtroom including the one presided over by a respected Judge who it said is not only handling its case but whose Order was unconditionally obeyed within a 24 hour ultimatum.
“The Service holds the judiciary in utmost respect and will continue to work with it for national peace and public safety in Nigeria,” the release read.
The DSS stressed in the release that a critical look at the videos in circulation would convince any objective viewer that there was no DSS personnel during the entire period “Sowore crowd acted out its orchestrated drama.”
“Its personnel were never, at any time, involved in the incident. In actual fact, it was his people who seized him.
“And from the latest developments, it has become obvious what the intent for such mischief was meant for – simply to serve a propagandist purpose as well as bring the Service to disrepute.”
Afunanya said further in the release that it has therefore become unarguable and raises a moral question as to who, between Sowore and the Service, dislikes or disobeys the Courts.
“In this regard, public attention may be drawn to the 25th July 2019 statement of SOWORE that “I’m not talking of protest. I’m embarking on revolution… Don’t tell me about legal implications or what a Judge will say. I don’t care …” On 5th December when SOWORE was released, he had, at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja addressed a group of persons who, he reassured of his cause to create anarchy in the country,” Afunanya said.
He recalled that the Service had on 3rd December, 2019 raised alarm about an alleged plot to destabilize the country.
“It is quite remarkable that the plot has already started playing out.
“To ensure this objective is further achieved, some persons and groups are scurrying to seize the opportunity of the misleading court incident and the wrong narrative against the DSS to organize an insurrection in the country.
“They have continued to falsely curry and mobilize international sentiments and attention, through clear misrepresentation of the facts, for their selfish ends.
“For emphasis, it should be noted that SOWORE is facing trial not as an activist, journalist or a politician, but for his resort to call for violence, forceful takeover of government and suspected transnational illegal activities.
“It is most unfortunate that SOWORE, shortly after being released from custody, based on court order, resorted to acts inimical to security.
“To this effect, only SOWORE has been re-arrested as his co-defendant, Olawale BAKARE, was not picked up even when FALANA had promised to deliver him to the Service that is not presently interested in him,” the DSS said in the release.
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