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The verdict of the court granting permission to Detain the publisher of Sahara reporters and convener of the #revolutionNow protest has attracted reactions from civil
society, the European Union (EU) and other concern Nigerians.
Operatives
of the Dss, had on Sunday arrested Sowore over his call for revolution ahead of
the #RevolutionNow protest which held in some part of the country on Monday

Adjudicating
on an ex patre application by the Department of state security to detain Sowore
for 90 days for the purpose of investigation, justice Taiwo Taiwo granted the
agency permission to hold the activist for only 45 days.
45-days
period according to justice Taiwo shall start from Thursday, and lapse on September
21, which coincide with the next day of hearing in the case.   
He, however, said that
the order of detention for 45 days was subject to renewal for further days upon
an application by the security agency, in the event, that its investigation
could not be concluded within the first 45 days.
Applying for the
detention order earlier on Tuesday, the DSS, through its lawyer, Mr G.O.
Abadua argued the ex parte application which is anchored on the provisions of
section 27(1) of the Terrorism (Prevention) Amendment Act, 2013.
Ruling on Thursday,
the judge said although the hearing of the application was one-sided as
legally allowed under the provisions of section 27(1) of the Terrorism
(Prevention) Amendment Act, he said he had to act on the facts alluded to by
the applicant in the application until the contrary was proved.
He noted that he had
watched the video clips attached to the application as exhibits, one of which
was said to have shown a conference held by Sowore and the leader of the
Indigenous People of Biafra, earlier proscribed by the Federal Government, Mr.
Nnamdi Kanu.
The judge also said
the use of the word, “may”, in section 27(1) of the Terrorism (Prevention)
Amendment Act, “is a directory,” robbing him of discretion to decline to grant
the application.
 “I am of the view that the use of the word
‘may’ in section 27(1) of the Terrorism (Prevention) Amendment Act 2013 is
directory and not mandatory.
“I have looked at the
facts presented by the applicant, I will fail in my duties if I do not act on
those facts at least until the contrary is proved.
But Reacting to the verdict of the court, a member of the civil society group, “centre for change” had condemned the  prolonged detention of Omoyele Sowore believes
it should have been charged within the constitutionally guaranteed 48-hours
period or be released unconditionally.

 A statement signed by its
president, Okei Odumakin reads in part; The centre for change has received with dismay,
the ruling of the federal high court, which granted the Department of the state
services a 45-days request to further hold in its custody, activist and
publisher of Sahara reporter Mr Omoyele Sowore.

“We find it disturbing, that
despite the speed at which Mr Sowore was arrested by the DSS, it could
publicly claim it is yet to conclude its investigations into what  the (Dss) Describes as Culpability or Otherwise,
as against Sowore’s #RevolutionNow”.
The statement put further that if
there is any iota of truth in the allegations being levelled against Mr Sowore
by the federal government, it should be courageous enough to prosecute same in
the open court without further delay.

“We call on
the Nigerian authorities to end the harassment and intimidation of individuals
and groups that legitimately criticize government action and policies,
including Mr Omoyele Sowore”.
Odumakin
believes injustice to one is an injustice to all.

Meanwhile, the European Union (EU) ambassador to Nigeria,
Ketil Karlsen, said yesterday that the organisation “stands firm on the
principles of freedom of speech,” noting: “It is important in any democratic
society for people to be able to participate.”
In a statement in Abuja, Karlsen said: “I am not aware of
any petition following the latest events in Nigeria but what I can say is that
as long as people seek peaceful means to demonstrate and voice their political
opinion, this is what we see as a natural part of a thriving democracy.”
“Any democracy or any society in the world must jealously
guard and make sure that such pronouncements are always non-violent and that
they respect the fundamental rules of the game and democracy at the end of the
day.”
Karlsen further clarified: “It is for the Nigerian justice
system, in the end, to follow up on specific cases. And as long as these cases
are being dealt with in the Nigerian justice system, it is not for the EU or
the EU ambassador to judge what is right or wrong on these occasions.
“But of course, we always follow very carefully when there
are dissenting voices in the countries where we operate and we listen very
carefully to all of them.”

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