• Friday, July 19, 2024
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How Sowore stage-managed re-arrest to tarnish our image – DSS


Following the nationwide outcry over the alleged desecration of the court by men of the Department of Security Services (DSS) to rearrest activist, Omoyele Sowore in the court on Friday, the secret police has said the former presidential candidate of the African Action Alliance (AAC), only acted a drama in court to bring the DSS to disrepute.

Sowore, who was arrested on August 3 in Lagos and spent more than 100 days in DSS detention over his planned protests on August 5 with #Revolutionnow, which the government considered as treasonable felony, was freed on Thursday December 5 by the secret police.

However, the nation was stunned when reports and some video clips emerged that the DSS operatives, had allegedly stormed the courtroom to disrupt court proceedings in order to rearrest Sowore on Friday. Some reports said the presiding judge Ijeoma Ojukwu, was forced to withdraw to her inner Chambers to avoid any harm to her.

The DSS in a statement issued on Saturday by its Public Relations Officer, Peter Afunanya, said the incident at the Federal High Court in Abuja on Friday December 6 was stage-managed by Sowore in order to tarnish the image of the Service, adding that it has become important to refute the serial misinformation being circulated in the media about the DSS involvement in the incident.

The Service in the statement noted that that during the court proceeding of the day under reference, Defence Counsel, Femi FALANA (SAN), called the attention of the Judge to a suspicion that the Service was planning to re-arrest Omoyele SOWORE immediately after the court session. The Court discountenanced his alarm and asserted that the Service was law abiding and would not engage in such and subsequently adjourned to February, 2020.

“However, when SOWORE stepped out of the court and sighted operatives of the Service within the premises, he ran back into the courtroom. In a bid to shield him from an imaginary arrest, his uncontrollable supporters mobbed him while chanting “you can’t arrest him” thus the pandemonium that ensued,” the statement said.

The DSS also said that a critical look at the videos in circulation would convince any objective viewer that there was no DSS personnel during the entire period the Sowore crowd acted out its orchestrated drama.

“DSS personnel were never, at any time, involved in the incident. In actual fact, it was his people who seized him. And from the latest developments, it has become obvious what the intent for such mischief was meant for – simply to serve a propagandist purpose as well as bring the Service to disrepute,” the statement added.

The DSS pointed out that eye witness and several media accounts have disclosed that the Court had adjourned peacefully without an untoward incident when suddenly the unruly crowd imported into the Courtroom went into frenzy on the mere suspicion that DSS was sighted at the court premises. Afunanya added that the eventual re-arrest of Sowore by the DSS was effected outside the courtroom. He said that Sowore’s lead counsel has affirmed this.

“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. The Service holds the judiciary in utmost respect and will continue to work with it for national peace and public safety in Nigeria.

“It has therefore become unarguable and raises a moral question as to who, between Sowore and the Service, dislikes or disobeys the Courts”, he said.

The DSS also drew the attention of the public to a statement credited to Sowore on July 25, where he was quoted to have said “I’m not talking of protest. I’m embarking on revolution… Don’t tell me about legal implications or what a Judge will say. I don’t care …”

The DSS said on 5th December when SOWORE was released, he had, at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja addressed a group of persons who, he reassured of his cause to create anarchy in the country.

Afunanya also recalled that the Service had on 3rd December, 2019 raised alarm about a plot to destabilize the country. He noted that it is quite remarkable that the plot has already started playing out.

“To ensure this objective is further achieved, some persons and groups are scurrying to seize the opportunity of the misleading court incident and the wrong narrative against the DSS to organize an insurrection in the country. They have continued to falsely curry and mobilize international sentiments and attention, through clear misrepresentation of the facts, for their selfish ends.

“For emphasis, it should be noted that SOWORE is facing trial not as an activist, journalist or a politician, but for his resort to call for violence, forceful takeover of government and suspected transnational illegal activities. It is most unfortunate that SOWORE, shortly after being released from custody, based on court order, resorted to acts inimical to security.

“To this effect, only SOWORE has been re-arrested as his co-defendant, Olawale BAKARE, was not picked up even when FALANA had promised to deliver him to the Service that is not presently interested in him,” the statement said.

The DSS spokesman said further that though sections of the populace have been fed with spurious narratives about these developments, Nigerians and the International Community should not be gullible or even vulnerable to the machinations of groups desirous of misleading them.

He stressed that the Service is committed to the discharge of its mandate of detecting and preventing threats against the internal security of Nigeria. He emphasized that the DSS supports democracy in the country and will do all that is legal to protect it.

The DSS spokesman in the statement insists the Service will also ensure that efforts of anti-democratic forces will be frustrated.


 Innocent Odoh, Abuja