Falana insists Sowore was assaulted by DSS inside court
Femi Falana (SAN) on Monday insisted that Sahara Reporters publisher Omoyele Sowore was assaulted inside the court contrary to the claims by the Department of State Service (DSS).
“We have already identified those involved in this act of gangsterism,” Falana said during a Television Continental (TVC) programme ‘Your View’.
“We know them. They know I know all of them.”
In a video shared by his Sahara Reporters on Friday, Sowore was seen being dragged by several men in an Abuja courtroom. Sahara Reporters said some of the men in the video were operatives of the DSS.
But the DSS on Saturday denied rearresting Sowore in the courtroom.
“The DSS, as a professional, responsible and law abiding organization, could not have invaded a courtroom including the one presided over by a respected Judge who is not only handling its case but whose Order was unconditionally obeyed within a 24-hour ultimatum,” Afunanya said,” DSS spokesman Peter Afunanya said in a statement.
“Its (DSS) personnel were never, at any time, involved in the incident.”
Afunanya said the court had adjourned peacefully without an untoward incident when suddenly the unruly crowd imported into the courtroom went into a frenzy on the mere suspicion that DSS officials were seen at the court premises.
Although contrary to reports, Afunanya said, “the eventual re-arrest of Sowore by the DSS was effected outside the courtroom.”
But Falana said Sowore’s rearrest ‘inside the court’ was acknowledged by the head of DSS team inside Justice Ijeoma’s office.
“The judge summoned the DSS leader to her office and challenged him (on the incident) and he apologised profusely right in her office in my presence,” Falana said.
He described the DSS’s claim of arresting Sowore outside the court as a “reckless lie.”
Countering the DSS claim, Falana posited that if truly “Sowore’s arrest was stage-managed by his supporters assaulting him in court, was the DSS not supposed to protect him.”
The Nigerian government in a statement on Sunday said Sowore “is a person of interest to the DSS” because he called for “a revolution to overthrow the democratically elected government of Nigeria.”
But Falana said the government’s claim is a media trial which is far from the truth.
“No responsible government can expose its citizen to a media trial. Let them bring their evidence.”
Sowore is being charged on offences of treasonable felony, money laundering, terrorism and plotting to overthrow Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari after calling for a nationwide protest tagged RevolutioNow.