Court Threatens To Jail DSS Boss Over Continued Detention of Sowore, Mandate

Court Threatens To Jail DSS Boss Over Continued Detention of Sowore, Mandate
A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Monday threatened to imprison the Director-General of the Department of State Services, Yusuf Bichi, over the agency’s refusal to release detained activists Omoyele Sowore and Olawale Bakare widely known as Mandate.
Recall that the court had on November 6, 2019 ordered the release of the activists after they met their bail conditions.
A notice of consequence of disobedience of court order (Form 48) marked FHC/ABJ/CR/235/2019 obtained by the Sahara Reporters was served on Bichi by the court’s bailiff.

The court document reads, 
“Take notice that unless you obey the directions contained in this court order of the Federal High Court, Abuja, made on November 6, 2019 which ordered you to release the defendants/applicants in suit no: FHC /ABJ /CR/ 235/2019 forthwith, you will be guilty of contempt of court and will be liable to be committed to prison. 
“This court has been informed that you are yet to comply with the lawful order of the court by refusing to release the defendants/applicants namely Omoyele Stephen Sowore and Olawale Adebayo (Mandate) in your custody.
“You are hereby directed to comply with the court order forthwith or you will be guilty of contempt of court.”

Sowore, famed globally for exposing Nigeria's corrupt politicians, was arrested in Lagos on August 3, 2019 for calling on Nigerians to take to the streets in peaceful demonstrations to demand a better country from the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.

The government is accusing him of insulting Buhari and planning to bring down his regime – charges observers around the world have described as baseless.

Despite two separate orders by the Federal High Court in Abuja directing his release after meeting stringent bail conditions, the DSS has refused to release Sowore, casting a huge shadow over the human rights record of Buhari’s regime.

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