A human rights lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN), said on Sunday that the leader of the Department of State Service (DSS) team that invaded the Federal High Court, Abuja, on Friday apologized to Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu over the incident
The judge had on Thursday ordered the DSS to release the convener of the #RevoluttionNow protest movement, Omoyele Sowore and his co-defendant, Olawale Bakare within 24 hours and the secret police duly complied with the court’s directive and released the duo.
But less than 24 hours later, some operatives of the DSS stormed the court in a commando-style and whisked the duo back to custody.
But the DSS had denied that its operatives disrupted the court proceedings on Friday.
However, Falana said in a statement that the agency actually invaded the court and took the two defendants back to custody.
According to him, the leader of the DSS team of operatives who invaded the court tendered an apology for their conduct when summoned after the incident by Justice Ojukwu.
He said the DSS operatives were unable to defend their conduct, hence their subsequent apology to the judge, who was forced to adjourn cases on her list following the invasion.
He described the Saturday statement issued by the agency’s spokesperson as “self-contradictory press release” and “an unsuccessful attempt” to absolve itself of responsibility “for the armed invasion of the court.
He said: “By the advantage of information technology, the whole world has placed responsibility for the gangsteric desecration of the court on the DSS.
“The DSS cannot extricate itself from the abominable acts of December 6, 2019.
“When I informed the court that fresh charges were being filed against our clients and that they could be rearrested, the prosecution denied any such plan.
“As soon as the case was adjourned, the DSS pounced on Sowore and caused a disruption of the proceedings of the court.
“Having taken over the courtroom, Justice Ojukwu hurriedly rose and asked the registrar to adjourn all other cases.
“After the learned trial judge had risen for the day, she summoned the heads of the prosecution and defence teams to her chambers.”