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Sowore to remain in detention for 45 days, court rules

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Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja, has ordered the detention of the convener of #RevolutionNow protests, Omoyele Sowore for a period of 45 days.

This is even as the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has described those calling for a forceful takeover of government as enemies of the country and called on Nigerians to reject the toxic messages of these individuals.

The 45-day period according to Justice Taiwo is to enable the Department of State Services (DSS) carry out and conclude its investigation of Sowore on allegations of instigating the public and seeking a change of the present administration.

The DSS had on August 6 through an ex-parte application sought an order of court to detain Sowore, presidential candidate of the African Action Congress in the February 2019 election for a period of 90 days to enable them conclude their investigation of alleged act of treason and terrorism.

But delivering ruling yesterday on the ex-parte application, Justice Taiwo held that the court has the jurisdiction to grant the request, adding that section 27 of the Terrorism Prevention Amendment Act under which the motion was brought, empowers him to do so.

Justice Taiwo said after consideration of the argument canvassed by the DSS’ lawyer, Godwin Agbadua, he came to the conclusion that there is an allegation of commission of crime by the respondent and that investigation is still ongoing.

He added that since the facts are allegations, “which must be proved at the appropriate place and time”, he was inclined to grant the application only to the extent that the respondent shall be detained for a period of 45 days for the applicant to conclude its investigation.

Justice Taiwo, however, said if at the end of the 45 days, investigation was yet to be concluded, the applicant can apply for a fresh order but must not keep him without an order of court.

Sowore was arrested in the early hours of Saturday by men of the DSS on account of the #RevolutionNow protest, which he had spearheaded.

He was then moved to Abuja on Sunday morning and is currently in the custody of the DSS.

DSS’ request to detain him for 90 days was contained in ex-parte motion marked FHC/ABJ/CS/ 915/19 and filed on behalf of the agency by Agbadua.

But trial judge, Justice Taiwo, after listening to the submission of the DSS lawyer, said he needed time to watch the video clips attached to the motion.

The video clips include a scene showing Sowore in a conversation with leader of proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu and a statement alleged to have been made by Sowore to the extent that members of the recent Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) will join forces with him to bring down the government of the day.

The matter has been adjourned till September 21, when the 45 days would elapse.

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