Senior Advocate of Nigeria and human right activist Mr. Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa has condemned the continued detention of Mr. Omoyele Sowore by the DSS after a Federal High Court ordered his immediate release.
According to Mr. Adegboruwa, “on Tuesday September 24, 2019, the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, refused the application of the Department of State Security, DSS, to further detain the presidential candidate of the Action Alliance, Mr. Omoyele Sowore, and thereafter granted him bail upon certain conditions. It is the case by his lawyers that the bail conditions have been met, but the DSS is still holding on to Mr Sowore, in flagrant violation of the express order of the court.”
Ours is a constitutional democracy, founded upon the concept of the rule of law, which prescribes unconditional respect to all orders of the court. The DSS has not appealed against the order of the Federal High Court admitting Sowore on bail pending his trial, if any. That imposed on it a compulsory obligation to comply with the said order, willy nilly.
Indeed, it was upon the order of court that the DSS kept Sowore in custody in the first place and if the same court has now ordered his release, there can be no justification for his continued detention. When government and its agencies refuse to obey lawful orders of court, society descends into the Hobbesian state where life becomes brutish and short and this encouraging citizens to resort to lawlessness.
Under and by virtue of section 287 (3) of the 1999 Constitution, “the decisions of the Federal High Court … shall be enforced in any part of the Federation by all authorities and persons …”. To that extent, there can be no justification whatsoever, for the continued detention of Sowore by the DSS, especially as it is not contesting the order of court.
This is why the continued detention of Mr Sowore by the DSS, is illegal. The claim that it has not been notified with the said order cannot stand, as its counsel was present in court when the order was made.
Based upon all the foregoing, I call on the Director of DSS to forthwith comply with the order of court by releasing Mr Sowore to his lawyers immediately.