The Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos, has ordered the Department of State Services and the Inspector-General of Police to appear before it on September 4 over the detention of Omoyele Sowore, co-convener of #RevolutionNowmovement.
Justice Nicholas Oweibo gave the order on Tuesday, August 20th following an ex-parte application filed by Olukoya Ogungbeje, a Lagos-based lawyer.
Sowore was arrested by operatives of the DSS in Lagos on August 3rd over the planned RevolutionNow protest slated for August 5th and has remained in DSS detention since that day.
Ogungbeje, who said he also participated in the #RevolutionNowprotest but was not arrested, urged the court to declare as unconstitutional and illegal police clampdown of the protesters and the arrest of Sowore by the DSS. He urged the court to make an order for the immediate and unconditional release of those arrested and detained.
Joined as respondents in the application are the Federal Government, the DSS and the Inspector-General of Police. Giving reasons why the arrested persons should be immediately and unconditionally released, Ogungbeje said:-
“There has been a grave constitutional infraction committed by the respondents against the applicant and other persons who engaged in the peaceful protest for good governance in Nigeria.
“On August 3, 2019, convener of the protest, Omoyele Sowore was arrested, whisked away and detained in the detention facility of the 2nd respondent (DSS).
“Mr Omoyele Sowore has not committed any offence known to law to warrant the infringement and likely infringement of rights by the respondents. By engaging in the peaceful protest, the applicant and other persons have not committed any offence known to law to warrant the treatment meted out to them by the respondents and their agents.”
But rather than order the release of the detainees, Justice Oweibo said he needed to hear from the FG, DSS and the IG.
He ordered Ogungbeje to put them on notice and directed that the respondents must appear before him on September 4 to show cause why Sowore and others should not be released immediately.