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Sunday, 29 December 2019

Sowore: Court invasion probe will continue, says Senate

Sowore: Court invasion probe will continue, says Senate

The Senate has said its probe into the invasion of the Federal High Court, Abuja, by some Department of State Services officers to arrest Omoyele Sowore will continue despite the release of the #Revolutionnow campaigner.

The Senate on December 12 mandated its committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, to investigate the reported invasion, following a point of order moved by the Chairman of the Committee, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele.

Opeyemi said the public was concerned about the development, adding that the judiciary believed that the courtroom was meant to be a sanctuary.

The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, while ruling on the point of order, asked the panel to investigate the incident and report back to the house in four weeks.

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Consequently, the panel held its inaugural investigative hearing on December 19 but could not interrogate the affected individuals and heads of affected agencies connected to the incident because of the demise of Senator Benjamin Uwajumogu, a day earlier.

The panel therefore directed the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami; the Director of the DSS, Yusuf Bichi; counsel for Sowore, Femi Falana; Executive Secretary, National Human Rights Commission, Tony Ojukwu; the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, and the presiding judge on the day of the invasion, Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu, to submit written statements.

Bamidele however told our correspondent in an interview on Friday that the probe must be concluded notwithstanding the latest developments.

He explained that the panel would take into cognisance the fact that the Federal Government had released Sowore and note it in its report.

He said, “The current probe of the court invasion being carried out by the Senate through our committee is a process which must be concluded notwithstanding the latest developments.”

Bamidele praised the FG for the release of Sowore and a former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki.

He said, “This is a good development. It shows that government aligns with the yearnings of Nigerians. It will also be a welcome development to critical stakeholders and the international community. The survival of our democracy has to be founded on the rule of law.

“Court orders are meant to be obeyed. In the event that government feels that, due to the overriding public interest, a particular action will jeopardise the collective interest of the nation, government can return to court for a review of such order.

“However, court orders are meant to be obeyed. The law makes provisions for further review. The law makes provisions for the capacity of the court to order a release of a detainee and makes provisions for the issuance of warrant on anybody who jumped bail.

“What is important is for the government to comply with all court verdicts before seeking a review through the courts also. It is very important for government to embrace the rule of law because that is the essence of democracy.”

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