Ĺike the proverbial calabash taken to the bottom of the river, the Omoyele Sowore court drama with the Department of State Services (DSS) agents has popped up again with the Senate mandatinv its Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters to investigate the alleged invasion of the Federal High Court, Abuja, by the agents.
The House of Representatives took the same decision a day before.
The Upper Chamber waded into the matter on Thursday during plenary following a point of order raised by Senator Opeyemi Bamidele (APC, Ekiti Central).
Recall that operatives of the Service were alleged to have invaded the premises of the Federal High Court, Abuja, on December 6, 2019, to re-arrest the Publisher of Sahara Reporters, Omoyele Sowore, who was released on bail a day earlier.
Sowore has been standing trial for treason, and has been in DSS detention for over 130 days. He has been granted bail twice, but less than 24 hours after the DSS released him on bail, its agents stormed the court to re-arrest him
Opeyemi, relying on Section 43 of the Senate Standing Orders, said the reported invasion of the court room by alleged officials of the DSS is an issue that raised a lot of concerns in different quarters in Nigeria.
“The leadership and members of the Judiciary are particularly concerned about this development because they believe that the court room is meant to be a sanctuary.
“For us as a Senate, we cannot analyze issues based on conclusions without facts that we consider technical.
“Much as we cannot jump into conclusion, also is the fact that we cannot pretend not to know that Nigerians are concerned about this development.
“Mr. President, the reason I came under 43 is so that I will not generate any controversy or even make the Senate debate over an issue like I said earlier, we still need to have facts and evidence.
“As elected representatives of the people in whom Nigerians and including the Judiciary must find their voice, that we mandate our committee on National Security and Intelligence to interface with the security agencies to investigate what happened and report back to the Senate”, Opeyemi said.
However, the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, in his ruling on Senator Opeyemi’s point of order, mandated the Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters instead to investigate the alleged invasion of the Federal High Court by DSS operatives.
The Committee, which is chaired by Senator Opeyemi Bamidele, is expected to turn in its report by next week Thursday.