The State Security Service has released Omoyele Sowore, several weeks after he secured a court bail.
Mr Sowore walked out of the SSS custody at its headquarters at 6:04 p.m. Tuesday. PREMIUM TIMES witnessed the release.
The State Security Service (SSS) had earlier today invited the lawyers to the Publisher of SaharaReporters to come and process his release.
The SSS had continued to detain Mr Sowore against court orders for his release.
The move to free him today followed a directive from the attorney-general that he and former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, should be freed in compliance with court orders which the SSS had disregarded for so long.
The administration has come under intense pressure in the past few weeks over its disobedience of court orders and disrespect for democratic ethos.
The SSS had on December 6 rearrested Mr Sowore at the premises of the Federal High Court in Abuja a day after he was released from their custody. Officials of the agency forced their way into the courtroom and rearrested him.
The publisher and another activist, Olawale Bakare, were released the night before on the order of Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu after spending 124 days in SSS custody.
Meanwhile, Attorney-General Malami had earlier today circulated a press statement announcing government’s plan to release Messrs Sowore and Dasuki.
Below is the statement.
RELEASE OF COL. SAMBO DASUKI (RTD.) AND OMOYELE SOWORE
1. The Office of the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation has reviewed the pending criminal charges against the duo of Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd.) and Omoyele Sowore. Whilst the Federal High Court has exercised its discretion in granting bail to the Defendants in respect of the charges against them, I am also not unmindful of the right of the Complainant/Prosecution to appeal or further challenge the grant of bail by the court having regards to extant legal provisions, particularly Section 169 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015.
However, my Office has chosen to comply with the court orders while considering the pursuit of its rights of appeal and/or review of the order relating to the bail as granted or varied by the courts.
2. In line with the provisions of Sections 150(1) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), and in compliance with the bail granted to Col. Sambo Dasuki (Rtd) (as recently varied by the Court of Appeal) and the bail granted to Omoyele Sowore, I have directed the State Security Services to comply with the order granting bail to the Defendants and effect their release.
3. The two Defendants are enjoined to observe the terms of their bail and refrain from engaging in any act that is inimical to public peace and national security as well as their ongoing trial which will run its course in accordance with the laws of the land.
4. I wish to reiterate again the utmost regard of my Office for the entire judicial structure of Nigeria. This administration remains unrelenting in deepening the rule of law and the administration of justice in general.
ABUBAKAR MALAMI, SAN
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