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Infamous for her occasional outburst against critics of president Buhari, Loretta Onochie, an aide of the president  said the court
arrest was planned” by the journalist’s “Boys and girls” that staged his
supposed re-arrest to make the country’s secret police look bad
 “So it was a stage-managed drama in the court
yesterday,” Onochie said in a Facebook post. “Sowore pinned down by his
supporters in a courtroom in order to give DSS a bad name.”


Onochie did not present
evidence to prove that Sowore faked his arrest.
In a video shared by his
Sahara Reporters, 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 Department of State Services.
The DSS, which accused
Sowore of planning to change the government through unlawful means is yet to
deny arresting him hours after he was released on Thursday night.
“All that is needed for a
#Revolution is for the oppressed to choose a date they desire for liberty, not
subjected to the approval of the oppressor,” he wrote Twitter on 2 August.
His lawyer Femi Falana said
DSS told him the Sahara Reporters’ publisher was needed for questioning on
Friday and would be released later in the day.
He accused the secret police of “gangsterism”.
“I can assure you what is
happening now will not go away unchallenged,” Falana said.
“We either run this country
on the platform of the rule of law or we resort to gangsterism which is what is
going on.”
But Nigerian authorities
have been less respectful of court orders in this case and in many orders.
Earlier court orders for
Sowore’s release was not carried out by the secret police. On one occasion,
the DSS said it could only release him to his lawyers.
Meanwhile,
the Nigerian Bar Association on Friday condemned the disruption of the
proceedings presided over by Justice Ifeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court in
Abuja by the operatives of the Department of State Service in their bid to re-arrest
the convener of ‘Revolution Now’ protest, Omoyele Sowore.
The
NBA, in a statement issued on its behalf by its National Publicity Secretary,
Mr Kunle Edun called for the immediate suspension of the Director-General of
the DSS, Yusuf Bichi, over what it described as “the disgraceful and crass
violation of the hallowed precincts of the law by the officers of the
Department of State Services”.
This
was part of the four-point demand of the NBA in the aftermath of the Friday’s
invasion of the court by DSS operatives, which caused the judge to flee her
court abruptly.
Bichi’s
predecessor, Lawal Daura, was in August 2018 dismissed by then Acting
President, Yemi Osinbajo, for authorising an illegal invasion of the National
Assembly by some masked operatives of the DSS.
Apart
from calling for Bichi’s suspension, the NBA also demanded that the “Federal
Government of Nigeria and the National Assembly immediately investigate the
shameful conduct by the DSS and ensure that all persons found culpable are duly
punished in accordance with the law.”
Demanding
the incumbent DG’s suspension, NBA said it was necessary considering the fact
that “the DSS under his leadership has established itself as a brutish and
irresponsible agency that derives immense pleasure from violating the
fundamental rights of Nigerians and disrespecting court orders”.
The
association also demanded “that the National Assembly should review the laws
setting up the DSS and indeed all security agencies in Nigeria with a view to
repositioning them to be more responsible and responsive to the public”.
It also
demanded that the Attorney General of the Federation, Mr Abubakar Malami,
“being the chief law officer of the federation takes over all the political
cases or cases involving politically exposed persons presently handled by the
DSS”.

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