I was in Abuja yesterday to participate in a public forum on “Digital Voting in Nigeria”. Before the commencement of the programme, I asked one of my colleagues in chambers, Mr. Abubakar Marshal, to book an appointment for me to visit our clients, Messrs Omoyele Sowore and Olawale Bakare, in the illegal custody of the SSS. At the end of the event, Mr. Abubakar informed me that the SSS had fixed the appointment for 10 am today. But at about 9.30 am this morning, the SSS called to inform me that the appointment had been shifted to 2 pm.
I was driving to the office of the sss this afternoon when my attention was drawn to another reason adduced by the SSS for disobeying the order of the Federal High Court for the release of of our clients. In a very disgraceful statement, the SSS claimed that Sowore could be knocked down by a moving vehicle if released from illegal custody. Even though the diversionary press conference was deliberately designed to blackmail me, I discountenanced and proceeded to honour the appointment. Thus, in a brief meeting with our clients, I informed them that upon the verification of their sureties, the federal high court had ordered their release from custody. In order to arm them to press for their rights, I gave them a certified true copy of the court order for their release which had been served on the SSS management. Our clients debunked the claim of Dr. Afunanya that they have been given access to telephone and other facilities.
Before leaving the headquarters, of the SSS, I advised the management to restrain Dr. Peter Afunanya from further exposing the country to avoidable ridicule in his desperate bid to justify the illegal detention of our our clients. In view of the claim of the SSS that Mr. Sowore could be knocked down by a moving vehicle if left alone, I offered to drive him out of the headquarters of the SSS. But my request was turned down since the SSS has been playing to the gallery in a rather puerile manner.
However, I find it difficult to believe that the Director General of the SSS, Mr. Mogaji, is aware of the highly misleading claim of Dr. Afunanya that I had not put a call through to him. Since I have evidence of my several text messages and telephone calls which were ignored by Mr. Mogaji, I have decided to report the misconduct of Dr. Afunanya to the appropriate agency of the federal government for giving false information to members of the public.
Femi Falana SAN