Court Invasion : DSS Lied – Falana
Human Rights Lawyer, Femi Falana, stated that officials of the Department of State Services (DSS) are guilty of desecration of court adding that the DSS Counsel offered an apology before Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu for the invasion of court.
The secret police had on Friday invaded the federal high cour to rearrest Convener of RevolutionNow Movement, Omoyele Sowore less 15 hours after he was released on the order of the court
The DSS has, however, denied infiltrating the court. The service said it did not attempt arresting Sowore inside the court, alleging that his supporters only “stage-managed the drama” to bring the service to disrepute.
But responding, Falana claimed that immediately the case was adjourned, DSS operatives pounced on Sowore and caused a disruption of the proceedings of the court”.
He added that armed DSS operatives who disguised in lawyer’s outfit were inside the courtroom.
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 court room vi et armis 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, Dr. Liman Hassan SAN 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 court house.
“Though, ordinarily, officers of the Service do not wear any uniform, on the 6th day of December, some of them were in mufti, many were not only armed but also masked while others disguised in lawyer’s black and white suit. Regardless of the form of appearance, the officers of the Service inside Court No. 7 were identifiable by their roles and acts of seizing Sowore and pinning him down.
Falana added, “Before submitting himself for arrest Sowore had rightly demanded for a warrant of arrest and detention order but the sss operatives were unable to produce either.
“In rationalizing the re-arrest of Sowore, which is denied in the same Press statement, the Serivce alleged that Sowore held metings with some people. Assuming without conceding that Sowore held meetings with some people in Transcorp Hotel as alleged by the sss, why did the Prosecution not inform the trial court that the defendant had breached his bail condition?