The convener of #RevolutionNow protest and former presidential candidate, Mr. Omoyele Sowore, on Thursday, commenced a contempt suit against the Director-General of the Department of State Service, Yusuf Bichi, for allegedly disobeying the order granting him bail.
Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja had on Tuesday granted bail to Sowore, who has been arrested and kept in the custody of the DSS since September 3, 2019, on the allegation of calling for “revolution” through the protest that was scheduled for September 5.
The judge had dismissed DSS’ objection in granting him bail with the sole condition that he deposit his passport in the registry of the court.
Sowore, through his lawyers, submitted his passport to a Deputy Chief Registrar of the court on Wednesday.
The legal team also filed an affidavit of compliance with the order of the court and had same served on the DSS.
But 24 hours after meeting the bail condition, the DSS had yet to release him.
The publisher of Sahara Reporters, through his lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), on Thursday, filed a ‘Notice of consequence of court order’ which is to be served on the DSS warning him that he could be jailed for continuing to violate the court order.
“Notice that unless you obey the direction contained in the order of the Federal High Court of Justice, Abuja delivered on September 21, 2019, which ordered you to release the applicant in Suit No: FHC/ABJ/CS/915/2019 forthwith, you will be guilty of contempt of court and will be liable to be committed to prison. A copy of the said order of court earlier served on you is hereby annexed for your on-the-spot reference.
“This court has been Informed that even as at today, Thursday, September 26, 2019, you are yet to comply with the lawful order of the Federal High Court by refusing to release the applicant namely: OMOYELE SOWORE, in your custody. You are hereby directed to comply with the court order forthwith or you will be guilty of contempt of court.”
The DSS, on September 3, arrested Sowore, the publisher of Sahara Reporters and former presidential candidate in the 2019 general elections over his call for revolution protest scheduled to hold on September 5.
Justice Taiwo, on September 8, granted an ex parte application by the DSS permitting the security agency to keep the activist for 45 days.
The 45 days period expired on Saturday.
Barely 24 hours to the expiration of the 45 days detention order, the Attorney-General of the Federation’s office filed charges of treasonable felony, cybercrime offences and money laundering against him before the Federal High Court in Abuja.
On Tuesday, following Falana’s application, Justice ordered the release of Sowore, from the custody of the DSS pending his arraignment in court.
The judge ordered him to submit his passport in the court’s registry as the sole condition for the bail.
He said since the order for detention permitting the DSS to keep the activist for 45 days had expired, the activist ought to be released immediately.