If there is anyone that deserves blame for the continued detention of Publisher of Sahara Reporters, Omoyele Sowore by the Department of State Services, (DSS), it is his lawyer Femi Falana (SAN), the Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) has said.
According to the group, this is because the human rights lawyer has refused to do what the DSS said was necessary to get his client out on bail.
In a statement signed by its Chairman Niyi Akinsiju, and Secretary Cassidy Madueke, BMO accused Falana of playing to the gallery by trading words with the security agency, instead of focussing on getting his client out on bail.
“We are aware that a Federal High Court in Abuja has since ordered the release of Omoyele Sowore on bail. We also know that the DSS has reaffirmed its position that no one has shown up to get him out.
“In the words of the spokesperson of the security agency, Dr. Peter Afunnaya: ‘since the receipt of the order, no person has turned up at the DSS to take delivery of him. This becomes imperative for reasons of accountability’.
“Nigerians cannot forget in a hurry how the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) Nnamdi Kanu jumped bail after he was granted bail by a court in Abuja even when he was standing trial for treasonable felony.
“Several years after, nothing has happened to those that stood surety for Kanu and who were accused of aiding his escape from Nigeria. So the DSS is within its right to have anyone willing to stand surety for the Sahara Reporters publisher perfect their documentations before he is allowed out on bail,” it said.
The group urged Falana to take up the challenge thrown by the agency, especially as its leadership has already briefed the Federal High Court on its position
“We invite Nigerians to note that the DSS has informed the court that granted Sowore bail on the steps it had taken to ensure compliance with its order.
“There is nothing wrong with ensuring that the court orders are not breached by whoever has opted to stand surety as was the case with Kanu, which practically rendered the DSS helpless.
“It would be ideal to take up the challenge especially as the agency is insisting that it will never obstruct justice or disobey Court Orders.
“So the onus, we say, is on the activist-lawyer to ensure that all appropriate processes are concluded for Omoyele Sowore to be out on bail.”
BMO also reassured Nigerians that the DSS would release the detained publisher on bail once his lawyers step up to the plate.