Sowore’s lawyers blocked from entering SSS office

The presidential candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC), Omoyele Sowore,.
The presidential candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC), Omoyele Sowore,.

The State Security Service (SSS) on Friday denied lawyers of the detained publisher of Sahara Reporters, Omoyele Sowore, access to its office in Abuja.

The lawyers, who are representing the activist in his trial at the Federal High Court on charges related to treason and money laundering, were at the agency to deliver, again, documents confirming he has met his bail conditions.

The Federal High Court had on September 24 granted bail to Mr Sowore, after over 50 days in detention.

A lawyer from Mr Falana’s Chambers, Samuel Ogala, told PREMIUM TIMES Friday noon that they were stopped at the entrance to the SSS office upon their arrival with the court bailiff for the second time on Friday.

But officials of the agency at the gate later accepted the documents.

Following a statement on Thursday by the SSS spokesperson, Peter Afunaya, that the agency was yet to receive the documents, Mr Sowore’s lawyers led by Femi Falana arranged a fresh delivery of the affidavit of compliance on Friday. They said they had first delivered the same documents on Wednesday.

Another lawyer from Mr Falana’s Chambers who deposed to the affidavit of compliance, Marshal Abubakar, said the court bailiff who was assigned to deliver the court papers was asked to return at 12 noon on Friday after his first visit to the agency in the morning.

But in another phone interview, Mr Ogala told PREMIUM TIMES that they were blocked at the entrance after arriving at noon with the court bailiff.

When PREMIUM TIMES contacted the SSS spokesperson, Peter Afunaya, for comments on the development, he said he was not at the office at the moment.

A Federal High Court had on Tuesday ordered Mr Sowore’s release from SSS custody.

But the agency was yet to comply with the order over 72 hours after it was delivered.

In a subsequent phone call with PREMIUM TIMES, Mr Ogala said the SSS officials collected the documents from them at the gate. He added that they were waiting at the gate for the evidence of receipt.

In a subsequent phone call with PREMIUM TIMES, Mr Ogala said the SSS officials did not collect the documents from them at the gate.

Editor’s Note: This report has been updated to indicate that the SSS refused to accept documents showing compliance with Mr Sowore’s bail conditions.

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