The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, has ordered the Department of State Service, DSS, to hands-off the prosecution of detained pro-democracy activist and convener of RevolutionNow Protest, Omoyele Sowore.
The AGF, in a statement that was made available to newsmen by his media aide, Dr. Umar Gwandu, on Friday, said he directed the security agency to forward the case file in respect of charge pending against Sowore before the Federal High Court in Abuja, to his office.
Malami further directed the Federal Ministry of Justice to immediately takeover the prosecution of all charges against Sowore, in line with the provisions of Sections 150(1) and 174 (1) (a-c) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
He said the Federal Government was committed to respecting the sanctity of the rule of law, protecting the virtues of human rights and ensuring speedy dispensation of justice in the matter.
“As part of deliberate efforts to probe emerging issues related to the recent imbroglio related to Omoyele Sowore’s case and for speedy dispensation of justice, the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice has requested that the case file in respect of charge pending before the Federal High Court, Abuja be forwarded to his office”.
In the statement Dr. Gwandu said the request for the transfer of the case to the office of the AGF was contained in a letter dated December 11, 2019 and addressed to the Director General of the DSS, National Headquarters, Abuja.
The Solicitor General of the Federation and the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Justice Dayo Apata, SAN, who signed the letter, refereed to an initial letter the DSS wrote to the AGF on September 9, 2019.
According to the statement, Apata’s letter to the secret service, read: “The Honourable Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice upon a further review of the case has directed the immediate takeover of the prosecution of all charges in respect of Omoyole Sowore by the Federal Ministry of Justice in line with the provisions of Sections 150(1) and 174 (1) (a-c) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended)”.
It said the letter requested the DSS DG to “promptly forward all the case files” in respect of Omoyele Sowore to the office of the AGF and Minister of Justice.
Sowore, who was the presidential candidate of African Action Congress, AAC, in the last general election and publisher of an online news outlet, Sahara Reporters, and his co-defendant, Olawale Bakare (aka Mandate), are answering to a seven-count treasonable felony charge.
They were in the charge marked FHC/ ABJ/CR/235/2019, accused of conspiracy, money laundering, cyber-stalking and insulting President Buhari.
Though the defendants perfected all the conditions the court gave for their bail, the DSS declined to release them, claiming that no surety came forward to receive them.
Following a 24 hours ultimatum trial Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu issued for their release, DSS, temporarily freed them from detention last week Thursday.
The agency subsequently re-arrested Sowore the next day within the court premises after his trial was adjourned till February 11, 2020.
Circumstances that surrounded the manner in which he was re-arrested, which involved the invasion of the courtroom by alleged operatives of the DSS, has continued to attract condemnation for the security agency.
Though DSS claimed that its officers were not involved in the court invasion saga, insisting that they waited and arrested Sowore outside the court premises, however, counsel to the defendants, Mr. Femi Falana, SAN, insisted that the agency was involved.
Malami earlier disclosed that the Federal Government had commenced its investigation into the matter.
Similarly, the Body of Senior Advocates of Nigeria, on Thursday, called for the setting up of an Independent Judicial Commission of Enquiry to unravel those behind the courtroom invasion.
Sowore was arrested on August 2 in Lagos and later transferred to Abuja for prosecution, after he called for a nationwide protest against perceived maladministration by the President Buhari-led government.
Despite his arrest, the protest held in various parts of the country on August 5, with security operatives clamping down on some of the participants. (vanguard)
BREAKING: DSS Bar Journalists From Premises Of Magu’s Probe
Men of the Department of State Service (DSS) on Monday barred journalists from gaining access to Conference Centre of the State House where the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, was being grilled.
News broke on Monday of the alleged arrest of Magu by the DSS.
However, State House Correspondents went over to the Conference Centre to ascertain the state of the development.
Men of the DSS, many of whom had been stationed within the premises of the Conference Centre, however, asked the journalists to leave the premises.
“They said you people should excuse the use of this place for today,” a security official detailed to the venue, politely told reporters.
JUST IN: DSS Arrests EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Magu
The Department of State Services (DSS) has arrested Ibrahim Magu, acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
It was that DSS operatives arrived the EFCC headquarters in Abuja Monday afternoon and quietly whisked him away without creating any scene.
His arrest comes a few days after Abubakar Malami, attorney-general of the federation (AGF), accused the anti-graft czar of gross infractions.
The AGF asked President Muhammadu Buhari to sack Magu over some “weighty” allegations, including the diversion of recovered loot.
In addition to allegedly re-looting the recovered loot, Malami accused the acting EFCC chairman of insubordination and misconduct.
It was also learnt that the EFCC chief travelled to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates without the authorisation of the president during the COVID-19 lockdown.
And when he was questioned, he said he went for an investigation.
He is also alleged to be living above his means.
In 2016, the senate declined to confirm the appointment of Magu as EFCC chairman after a DSS report indicted him of corruption.
The report read: “Magu is currently occupying a residence rented for N40m at N20m per annum. This accommodation was not paid [for] from the commission’s finances, but by one Umar Mohammed, air commodore retired, a questionable businessman who has subsequently been arrested by the secret service.
“For the furnishing of the residence, Magu enlisted the Federal Capital Development Authority to award a contract to Africa Energy, a company owned by the same Mohammed, to furnish the residence at the cost of N43m.”
Buhari Condemns Boko Haram’s Attack On UN Helicopter In Northeast
President Muhammadu Buhari has condemned what he called “the dastardly attack on UN aid helicopter in the Northeast on Saturday by the Boko Haram terrorists.”
In a reaction to the reports of the incident, President Buhari said:
“This latest cowardly attack on the UN humanitarian helicopter is yet another desperate rear guard action by the Boko Haram terrorists who have been under intense pressure from the Nigerian military.”
“Let me reassure the international community and Nigerians that this latest cowardly attack on a UN helicopter which claimed the lives of two people, including a five year old baby, would not go without severe consequences.”
“Boko Haram terrorists are clearly on the back foot and their increasing attacks on innocent civilians, including UN humanitarian workers, was part of their desperation to prove that they are strong in order to cover up their dwindling fortunes.”
President Buhari said “the security of foreigners and Nigerians remain the top priority of this administration, and we shall leave no stone unturned until we eliminate these remorseless enemies of humanity.”
The President also underscored the need for all humanitarian and other aid workers in the region to, at all times, properly coordinate movements — air or land, with the Theatre Commander and other military authorities.
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