Stop Insulting The Intelligence of Nigerians – Falana Tells DSS
Femi Falana the lawyer presenting the embattled convener of RevolutionNow, Omoyele Sowore says the State Security Service SSS is insulting the collective intelligence of Nigerians.
Falana was reacting to a claim by the DSS spokesman that some prominent Nigerians detained by it chose to remain in its custody because they taking good care of them.
The legal counsel said SSS defends is “switching reasons for its continued violation of court orders for the release of his clients.
Falana is also the legal counsel representing the detained leader of the Shiite Islamic Movement of Nigeria, Ibrahim El-Zakzaki.
El-Zakzaki has been in the SSS custody since 2015 despite a court order to release him.
Falana advised the agency to release Nigerians illegally detained in its custody without further delay.
“Within a space of one week, the state security service (SSS) has adduced three contradictory reasons for not complying with the order of the federal high court for the immediate release Sowore and Bakare from illegal custody. In a public statement issued on 9/11/19, the SSS claimed that it had wanted to release the duo but for the fact that no one had shown up to receive them. When their lawyers and family members offered to receive them the sss disqualified them,” he said Saturday in a statement.
“The SSS turned round to say that it would only release the detainees to their sureties. Having found that it lacks the vires to vet sureties that have been verified by the federal high court the SSS has asked Nigerians to believe that Messrs Sowore and Bakare had applied to be detained in its protective and comfortable custody!
“Instead of apologising for exposing Nigeria to underserved odium the spokesperson of the security agency has asked us to believe that Sowore and Bakare, Mr and Mrs Elzakzaky and Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd) rather chose to be looked after by the SSS.
“Until the detainees and criminal suspects are allowed to regain their liberty the SSS should stop insulting the collective intelligence of the Nigerian people by attempting to justify the subversion of the rule of law,” Mr Falana said.
Falana said his response was necessary because the SSS was justifying a brazen abuse of power.
“At various times in the past 4 years, the federal high court, the federal capital territory high court, the court of appeal and the ECOWAS court of justice admitted Col. Dasuki to bail pending trial. Upon meeting his bail conditions on 30/12/15 he was released by the Kuje prison authorities. However, the SSS operatives arrested him at the gate of the prison and he has since been detained in defiance of the orders of the aforementioned municipal and regional courts.”
The lawyer also accused the Minister of Information Lai Mohammed of lying to Nigerians when he said El-Zakzaky was not in the custody of any security agencies in Nigeria.
“With respect to Elzakzaky’s the Information Minister, Mr Lai Mohammed had said on June 16, 2017, that “Elzakzaky is actually not in prison custody nor police custody nor SSS custody? El-Zakzaky is in a house with his family, this is the honest truth. The court ruled that he will be released after his house has been rebuilt. Nobody wants to accept El-Zakzaky as a neighbour. So we have been able to build a house, where do we release him to?” When was the Elzakzakys transferred to the custody of the SSS from the house built for them by the federal government?” Mr Falana asked.
“On another occasion, the federal government claimed that Mrs Zeinat Elzakzaky was not detained but that she chose the company of her detained husband, Mr Elzakzaky. As if that was not enough Mr Lai Mohammed disclosed that the federal government was spending N3.5 million to feed the Elzakzaky per month. Since the Elzakzakys have been detained illegally for the past 46 months the federal government must have wasted N168 million on feeding the couple!”
Falana recalled that the government had justified its continued detention of his clients, Sowore, Bakare and El-Zakzaky and a former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki that their freedom was less important to the security of Nigeria which the detainees were allegedly threatening.
“In the light of the foregoing, we wish to direct the attention of Mr Bichi Mogaji, the Director-General of the State Security Service to section 287 of the Constitution which has imposed a duty on all authorities and persons to comply with the decisions of all competent courts in Nigeria,” Mr Falana said.