The Shameful Macabre Dance By The SSS And The Federal Government

By Ikenga Chronicles September 29, 2019

The Shameful Macabre Dance By The SSS And The Federal Government

–Inibehe Effiong

The report that the Federal Government will petition Justice Taiwo to the NJC for ordering Sowore’s release is beautiful nonsense. That will be an unprecedented executive rascality. The SSS did not require a court order to release Sowore. He should have been freed the moment the 45 days elapsed.

The SSS filed an application seeking extension of Sowore’s detention by another 20 days. They withdrew it when the Ministry of Justice filed charges. There is no legal basis for detaining Sowore. Filing of charges cannot justify the detention. Justice Tawo only did the needful.

The same SSS that claimed ignorance of the order made by Justice Taiwo is reportedly planning to appeal it and also petition the judge. This whole case is rooted in lies ab initio. They have continued to tell lies and defend the indefensible. This government is shameless.

The SSS was represented in court on Tuesday by a lawyer in court when Justice Taiwo Taiwo ordered it to release Sowore forthwith. But we still served them with the order. When they denied service, we mobilised the Bailiff to re-serve them but they chased us out of their facility.

I’m worried by this ‘suspicious’ report by The Nation Newspaper. We hope that this report is not planted to scare Justice Taiwo from entertaining our contempt proceedings against the DG of the SSS. We hope it is not intended to scare the judge that will be assigned to try Sowore.

It will be preposterous for the FG to petition the NJC because a judge who swore to uphold the Constitution, took the right decision by enforcing the constitutional liberty of a Nigerian who is presumed innocent until his guilt is established. The SSS should stop this impunity.

Based on the principle laid down by the Supreme Court in the case Military Governor of Lagos State & Ors vs Ojukwu & Anor (1986) 1 NWLR (Pt. 18) 62, the SSS cannot appeal against the order of Justice Taiwo while still in contempt. They must release Sowore before going on appeal.

The law is firmly established, as decided by the Supreme Court in the case of Nidocco Ltd. vs Gbajabiamila (2014) 14 NWLR (Pt. 1374) p. 350, that an order made by a court of competent jurisdiction is valid until it is declared void by a court of competent jurisdiction.

The argument about supremacy of “national security” as argued by President Buhari, the AGF, Mr Malami, Keyamo and others is legally untenable. Rule of Law is the father of national security. When a court makes an order, Section 287 of the Constitution says it MUST BE ENFORCED.

It is absolutely depressing as a lawyer in this country, that this government has continued to treat court orders with ignominy. His Lordship, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, who recently insisted on obedience to court orders should now walk the talk. The NBA should speak out now.

Finally, it is now correct to say that the Buhari regime has gone completely rogue in its dubious, immoral and despotic attempt to criminalise dissent and suppress voices of conscience in this country. Sowore is simply being hunted by an incompetent regime for loving his country.