Sowore: House Expresses Dismay over Exhibition of Thuggery, Probes Court Invasion


By Adedayo Akinwale ín Abuja

The House of Representatives has expressed dismay over the exhibition of thuggery, brute force and disregard for the rule of law by yet-to-be-identified persons within the precinct of the Federal High court where the Convener of #RevolutionNow, Omoyele Sowore, was arrested.

Sowore and another activist, Olawale Bakare, were rearrested barely a few hours after their release from the Department of State Services (DSS) custody where they had been in the last four months.

Sowore and Bakare were rearrested by the DS at the Federal High Court premises in Abuja barely a few hours after their release from the DSS custody.
Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu had in the sitting of Thursday, December 5, frowned on the continued detention of the defendants despite their release on bail.
However, the House at the resume of plenary on Tuesday ordered investigation into the matter following the adoption of a motion brought under urgent national importance moved by Hon. Ndudi Elumelu.

He said that sections 4,5 and 6 of the 1999 Constitution as amended guarantee the separation of powers and the independence of every arm of government.

Elumelu noted that a situation where one arm of government is seen to be overpowering another in the course of dispensing her duties would definitely spell doom for the separation of powers as enshrined in the Constitution.

According to him, “The House notes with dismay the exhibition of thuggery, brute force, lawlessness, contempt and disregard for the rule of law by yet-to-be-identified persons within the precinct of the Federal High Court, Abuja on the 6th day of December, 2019.”

The minority leader stressed that the videos emerging in public domain showed the unidentified person trying to bundle Sowore and Bakare away from the court room, while Sowore’s supporters were resisting them, which he described as an abuse to the sanctity of the court room.

The lawmaker expressed concern that the men of the civil society claimed that the unidentified masked men are agents of the DSS, while the Service had denied through its spokesman, Peter Afunanya, that its personnel were never involved in the incident.

“Worried that the actions of these unidentified persons disrupted judicial proceedings on the 6th day of December 2019, and made the presiding judge to abandon her duty post because of safety concerns. This is a complete desecration of the temple of justice and such an action should be completely discouraged,” Elumelu added.

Elumelu noted that if this action is not properly put to check, the National Assembly might one day be invaded and the relevant security agencies would claim not knowing who the offenders are.

He stressed that physically assaulting Sowore and Bakare by the yet-to-be-identified persons inside the court room was the highest act of sacrilege against the judicial arm of government and a complete disrespect for the rule of law.

The House therefore mandated “the committees on National Security and Intelligence, Judiciary and Human Rights respectively to investigate the event and report back to the House within two weeks”.