Sowore: Court in­va­sion probe will con­tinue, says Se­nate

The Punch - - NEWS -

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.

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

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