Fed High Court Allows DSS to Detain Sowore for 45 Days

BY OUR CORRESPONDENT
The Federal High Court Sitting in Abuja on Thursday granted the request of the Department of State Service to detain Omoyele Sowore for 45 days.

Ruling on an ex parte application by the DSS, Justice Taiwo Taiwo
held that the detention order would be renewable after the expiration of the first 45 days on September 21.

Mr Sowore had called for a good governance revolution in Nigeria last week, drawing immediate fears from President Muhammadu Buhari and other elements in his government.

Mr Sowore was arrested in Lagos on August 3 by SSS operatives who stormed his apartment.

The arrest came two days before the nationwide protest was scheduled to take place on August 5 across the country.

After keeping Mr Sowore in custody for more than 48 hours in violation of the law, the SSS asked a federal judge for permission to further incarcerate him and was granted on Thursday morning.

The remand order was granted ex-parte, meaning Mr Sowore was not allowed to be represented by a lawyer and the judge took the decision based on only the claim of the DSS.

The DSS had on Tuesday applied for permission to keep Mr Sowore for 90 days to investigate him over his call for revolution ahead of the RevolutionNow protests which held in some parts of the country on Monday.

The security agency anchored its application on the provision of section 27(1) of the Terrorism (Prevention) Amendment Act.

Ruling on ex parte application, a one-sided request by the SSS without counter-argument by Mr Sowore’s legal team, Mr Taiwo, said he had to grant the application, “only to the extent” of allowing the security agency to keep the respondent in custody for only 45 days for the applicant to conclude its investigation.

Taiwo said, although the hearing of the application was one-sided as provided by 27(1) of the Terrorism (Prevention) Amendment Act, the use of the word, “may”, in the provision “is directory” and not “discretionary”

According to him, the DSS is at liberty to request for more time to detain him if it could complete the investigation within 45 days.

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