Reports monitored by Danngnews have confirmed that the Department of State Services (DSS) have prevented friends, lawyers and associates of the jailed activist who have gathered at the DSS national headquarters in Abuja to take him home.
DSS has said on Friday evening that Sowore is still in jail because no one had come to take him home.
Mr Femi Falana. Chief counsel to Sowore immediately countered the DSS claims. Other members of his legal team were at the agency’s headquarters hoping to take him home, having perfected his bail condition.
These include Editor in chief of Premium Times, Musikilu Mojeed and activist Deji Adeyanju.
Mojeed had arrived at DSS premises by 8 am on Saturday.
DSS front desk personnel informed the crowd that no official was around to attend to them on Sowore.
DSS spokesman, Dr Peter Ifunanya who announced on Friday evening that there was no one to pick Sowore, was not picking his calls when contacted on phone.
Text messages sent to his phone were not replied also.
DSS lawyer dealing on Sowore’s case, Emmanuel David, when contacted by the Premium times said he could not comment or help in any way on the matter.
He advised all inquiries to directed to Afunanya.
A member of Sowore’s legal team Abubakar Marshal got to the DSS office at about 10 am with Sowore’s relatives only to be denied entry by security guards.
There was a hot exchange of words between the lawyer and the security guards as the guards insisted they need clearance from their superior officers.
With the drama unfolding, Marshal got a phone call from a senior official of the DSS who claimed he was not available.
This did not go down well with some members of the crowd and they started shouting and cursing, threatening not to leave until Sowore is released.
” They have refused to release Sowore to me or to his lawyer here,” said Adeyanju
DSS has said on Friday, that no one had come to receive Sowore since the order for his release was received by the agency.
He said there was a need for clarification for reason of accountability adding that the agency is in possession of court order for his release.
He said the court had been properly briefed of the developments and every step is being taken to make sure the court order is fully complied with.
He said the agency is a law-abiding organisation and would never disobey court orders.
Afunanya said that the agency would do the needfull on completion of the appropriate processes for Sowore’s release.
In his response, Falana said the agency is off the track, adding that Sowore’s lawyers waited for four hours on Thursday to take him home from DSS facility without success.
He said: “On 6/11/19 the bailiff of the Federal High Court wanted to serve the reproduction warrants issued by the court on the Director-General of the State Security Service (SSS). But the SSS asked the bailiff to call back at 10.00 am on 7/11/19. The bailiff did and was able to serve the reproduction warrants on the DG of the SSS.
“Upon acknowledging the service of the reproduction warrants, the SSS assured the bailiff and five lawyers from the defence team that our clients would be released yesterday (Thursday). But the SSS decided not to release our clients to our lawyers who waited in vain in the agency’s headquarters for not less than four hours.
“When Sowore said that he would not make a statement without first consulting with me the SSS management called me on phone on 6/8/19. Assuming the SSS had wanted to release our clients since yesterday the management would have contacted me.
“It is pertinent to point out that the meaning of reproduction warrant issued by a trial court is that the defendants be produced for the purpose of releasing them having met their bail conditions. In the instant case, the federal high court did not order the SSS to hand over Messrs Sowore and Bakare to any person but to produce them for the purpose of releasing them having met the suffocating bail conditions imposed on them by the trial court.
“Even though the SSS disobeyed the order of Justice Taiwo for the release of Mr Sowore on 24/9/19 it has turned round to announce its readiness to comply with the order of Justice Ifeoma Ojukwu for the release of Sowore and Bakare from illegal custody.”
Justice Taiwo Taiwo who directed the DSS to release Sowore immediately had granted him bail on Wednesday after relaxing his bail condition.
On reaching the agency’s premises at 3.30 pm, Sowore’s lawyers were told that the agency had closed for the day.
On Thursday, the SSS acknowledged receipt of the court order and said its compliance was underway.