By Yemi Oyeyemi
Controversial detained former presidential candidate and publisher of SaharaReporters, Mr Omoyele Sowore Thursday initiated a move to commit the Director General of the State Security Service (DSS) to prison over alleged disobedience to a Federal High Court Order which on Tuesday ordered his conditional release from the service custody.
The DSS spokesman, Peter Afunaya has said: “We have not received the court order. And his (Sowore’s) counsel is a very senior member of the bar and he knows the process to follow; this process has not been followed”.
Sowore’s counsel, Femi Falana said that one Ayuba Adam of the agency’s Legal Service Department received the said court order on September 25, 2019 at exactly 10:08am.
He adds, “For the past three days, I have been visiting the headquarters of the State Security Service in Abuja and I have been talking to the three most senior officers of the agency, no officer of the agency ever said the agency was not served or aware of the court order.
“All they kept telling me was that they were still consulting….
“I must say, that apart from the fact that the State Security Service has been served with the court order, we have also filed and served on the SSS the affidavit of compliance with the court order showing that we have deposited Omoyele Sowore’s passport at the Federal High Court’s registry in Abuja as directed by the court.
“They also had their lawyer in court when the order for Sowore’s release was made.”
In the bid to enforce the release order, the detained politician, who had spent over 50 days in the custody of the SSS filed form 48 against the SSS boss seeking his committal to jail unless he gives effect to the order of the court asking his release.
The form 48 otherwise known as contempt of court was filed at the Federal High Court pursuant to order ix, rule 1-3 of the judgment enforcement rules, section 72 of the Sheriff and Civil Process Act 2004 and under the inherent jurisdiction of the court.
Titled, Notice of Consequences of Disobedience to Order of Court’, the SSS boss in the contempt notice form was warned that unless he obeys the order of the Federal High Court delivered on September 24, ordering him to release Sowore in suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/915/2019, he will be guilty of contempt of court and will be liable to be committed to prison.
The contempt form notice further indicated that the court has been informed that as at yesterday September 26, the DG SSS was yet to comply with the lawful order by refusing to release Sowore from its custody.
The notice read in part: “Take notice that unless you obey the direction contained in the order of the Federal High Court of Justice, Abuja, delivered on September 24, 2019 which ordered you to release the applicant in suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/915/2019 forthwith, you will be guilty of contempt of court and will be liable to be committed to prison”.
“A copy of the said order of court earlier served on you is hereby annexed for your on-the-spot reference.
“This court has been informed that even as at today Thursday September 26, 2019, you are yet to comply with the lawful order of the Federal High Court by refusing to release the applicant namely, Omoyele Sowore in your custody.
“You are hereby directed to comply with the court order forthwith or you will be guilty of contempt of court”.
The notice was served on the SSS boss at the Three-Arms zone in Abuja on Thursday after all the necessary conditions had been fulfilled.
It would be recalled that Justice Taiwo Taiwo had on Tuesday, September 24 ordered the immediate release of Sowore from SSS custody following the expiration of the order of the court that Sowore should be detained for 45 days only.
At the time of this report anxious sympathisers of the detained politician comprising his employees, political associates and family members have been waiting eagerly for his release from DSS custody in compliance with the court order.
Sowore ran into trouble with the federal government when he chose to lead a nationwide protest #RevolutionNow against some alleged bad policies of government.