Sunday, 17 November, 2019

Sowore: How Justice Taiwo Taiwo Nailed DSS’s ‘Coffin’


More details have emerged as to the real reason Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja ordered the release of pro-democracy campaigner and Convener of RevolutionNow movement, Omoyele Sowore, on Tuesday.

During the court session, prosecution counsel, G.A.O Agbadua argued that the charge against the SaharaReporters Publisher is a “capital offence punishable by death” and granting bail to such person is done “under exceptional circumstances”.

But counsel to Sowore, Femi Falana (SAN), objected to the submission of the prosecution, asking the court to discountenance the argument.

He said that the applicant was misleading the court for saying that the offence filed against the respondent was a capital offence.

However, in his ruling, Justice Taiwo said that the respondent (Sowore) ought to have been released since there was no extant order of the court for his continued detention.

The judge said, “It is to this end that I am of the view that the respondent (Sowore) ought to be released forthwith in view of the fact that there is no extant order of this court for his continued detention. 

“However, in view of information filed in the registry of this court, I am of the opinion that the release forthwith of the respondent must be on terms.”

Justice Taiwo held that the court can make use of any document before it especially if that document forms part of the record of the court. 

He explained that the order of court had not been renewed and cannot be renewed in view of the motion ex-parte stated earlier.

He pointed out that liberty of Nigerians both poor and rich were guaranteed under the constitution and the court must be seen to be upholding the rule of law as entrenched by law.

He added, “It is also not in doubt that this court of justice must be seen to be upholding the rule of law and constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria both in criminal and civil cases. 

“The liberty of Nigerians, poor or rich, is guaranteed by the constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria. 

“I therefore order the respondent (Sowore) to be released forthwith but he must deposit his international passport with the Chief Registrar of this court within 48 hours of this order.

“Furthermore, the respondent shall be released to Mr Femi Falana (SAN) forthwith by the applicant that is State Security Service.

“Mr Femi Falana shall ensure that the respondent is produced for formal arraignment whenever the respondent is notified. This is my ruling.”

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