Nigeria’s Attorney-General asks secret police, DSS, to hands off trial of detained activist Sowore
Nigeria’s Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami on Friday ordered the country’s secret police, Department of State Security (DSS) to hands off the trial of detained activist, Omoyele Sowore.
The trial, he said, would now be handled by his office. Sowore is the convener of the #RevolutionNow protests convener.
The development was conveyed via a statement by the minister’s Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations, Dr. Umar Gwandu on Friday.
The statement referred to a December 11, 2019 letter sent on behalf of the AGF by the Solicitor-General of the Federation, Dayo Apata (SAN), to the Director-General of DSS, Yusuf Bichi, directing the security agency to “promptly forward all the case files” to the AGF office.
In part, it quoted Apata as saying that “the Honourable Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice upon a further review of the case, has directed the immediate takeover of the prosecution of all charges in respect of Omoyole Sowore by the Federal Ministry of Justice, in line with the provisions of Sections 150(1) and 174 (1) (a-c) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).”
Recall that the actions of the DSS over the prosecution of Sowore had caused embarrassments to the Federal government as there were reactions both locally and from the international community.
The statement from the AGF entitled ‘Sowore: FG’s probe intensified, as AGF wants speedy Justice dispensation’ read in full:
Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami said that the Federal Government is committed to respecting the sanctity of the rule of law, protecting the virtues of human rights and ensuring speedy dispensation of justice.
As part of deliberate efforts to probe emerging issues related to the recent imbroglio related to Omoyele Sowore’s case and for speedy dispensation of justice, the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice has requested that the case file in respect of charge pending before the Federal High Court, Abuja be forwarded to his office.
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This is contained in a statement issued by Dr. Umar Jibrilu Gwandu, the Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations, office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, and made available to newsmen in Abuja on Friday 13th December 2019.
In the statement, Dr. Gwandu said the request for the transfer of the case to the office of the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice was contained in a letter dated 11th December 2019 and addressed to the Director General of the Department of State Services, National Headquarters Abuja.
The Solicitor General of the Federation and the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Justice, Dayo Apata, SAN who signed the letter referred to a letter from the DSS office on 9th September 2019.
According to the letter “the Honourable Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice upon a further review of the case has directed the immediate takeover of the prosecution of all charges in respect of Omoyole Sowore by the Federal Ministry of Justice in line with the provisions of Sections 150(1) and 174 (1) (a-c) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended)”.
The letter requested the Director to “promptly forward all the case files” in respect of Omoyele Sowore to the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice.
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