The lead counsel to Omoyele Sowore, Femi Falana, has slammed the State Security Service (SSS) over claims that the supporters of the detained convener of RevolutionNow stage managed his arrest inside the Court 7 of the Federal High Court Abuja presided over by Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu on Friday.
Falana in a statement on Sunday said it is utter poor reasoning for the secret police to make such claims.
“Our attention has been drawn to the self-contradictory press release of the SSS in which an unsuccessful attempt was made to absolve itself of responsibility for the armed invasion of the Federal High Court, Abuja and the desecration of Court No 7 of Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu in particular, as well as the illegal, rearrest of Omoyele Sowore” Falana said.
“As soon as the case was adjourned, the SSS pounced on Sowore and caused a disruption of the proceedings of the court. Having taken over the courtroom, Justice Ojukwu hurriedly rose and asked the Registrar to adjourn all other cases. After the learned trial judge had risen for the day, she summoned the heads of the prosecution and defence teams to her chambers.
“When the lead prosecutor, denied knowledge of the invasion of her court, she directed him to invite the head of the SSS team in the court. When challenged to justify the invasion of the court, the officer could not. He apologised to Justice Ojukwu on behalf of the SSS. The judge then directed the officer to withdraw the SSS operatives from the courtroom.
“The directive was complied with as the operatives withdrew from the courtroom but rushed out to join their colleagues who had taken over the entire courthouse.
“Notwithstanding that the SSS could not produce any warrant of arrest for Sowore, the defence team decided that I should accompany him to the SSS headquarters in view of his physical brutalisation inside the courtroom and the open threat to his life. I did and ensured that he was driven in my car to the SSS headquarters where I handed him over to the officers on duty. Thereafter, I requested a meeting with the head of the SSS but I was informed that he was not in the office,” Falana explained.
“It is utter poor reasoning to say that Sowore’s supporters were also those bent on injuring him in order to arrest him. The argument of the Service in this respect is as unfortunate and pitiable as the earlier argument of the Service in respect of the Late Chief Gani Fawehinmi who was once accused of wanting to set ablaze his own house.”
“Therefore, the bizarre harassment of courts cannot be tolerated under a democratically-elected government that claims to be operating under the rule of law”, he added.