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DSS React To Sowore’s Rearrest Drama

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Bichi

The Department of State Security, (DSS), has reacted to the criticisms that it has been recieving following the drama that greeted the rearrest of Omoyele Sowore in court.

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Reacting to the criticism, the DSS said its officers did not arrest the convener of the #RevolutionNow movement in court, adding that the journalist’s supporters were only acting an “orchestrated drama”.

A statement signed by Peter Afunanya, DSS spokesperson said there were none of its officers involved in the incidents recorded in the courtroom.

See the full statement below:

 

It has become important that the Department of State Services responds to the serial misinformation being circulated in the media about its involvement in the incident that occurred on 6th December, 2019 at the Federal High Court, Abuja.

It is instructive to note that during the court proceeding of the day under reference, Defence Counsel, Femi FALANA (SAN), called the attention of the Judge to a suspicion that the Service was planning to re-arrest Omoyele SOWORE immediately after the court session.

The Court discountenanced his alarm and asserted that the Service was law abiding and would not engage in such and subsequently adjourned to February, 2020.

However, when SOWORE stepped out of the court and sighted operatives of the Service within the premises, he ran back into the courtroom. In a bid to shield him from an imaginary arrest, his uncontrollable supporters mobbed him while chanting “you can’t arrest him” thus the pandemonium that ensued.

A critical look at the videos in circulation would convince any objective viewer that there was no DSS personnel during the entire period the Sowore crowd acted out its orchestrated drama. Its personnel were never, at any time, involved in the incident. In actual fact, it was his people who seized him. And from the latest developments, it has become obvious what the intent for such mischief was meant for – simply to serve a propagandist purpose as well as bring the Service to disrepute.

Eye witness and several media accounts have disclosed that the Court had adjourned peacefully without an untoward incident when suddenly the unruly crowd imported into the Courtroom went into frenzy on the mere suspicion that DSS was sighted at the court premises. The eventual re-arrest of Sowore by the DSS was effected outside the courtroom. His lead counsel has affirmed this.

The DSS, as a professional, responsible and law abiding Organization, could not have invaded a courtroom including the one presided over by a respected Judge who is not only handling its case but whose Order was unconditionally obeyed within a 24 hour ultimatum. The Service holds the judiciary in utmost respect and will continue to work with it for national peace and public safety in Nigeria.

It has therefore become unarguable and raises a moral question as to who, between Sowore and the Service, dislikes or disobeys the Courts. In this regard, public attention may be drawn to the 25th July 2019 statement of SOWORE that “I’m not talking of protest. I’m embarking on revolution… Don’t tell me about legal implications or what a Judge will say. I don’t care …” On 5th December when SOWORE was released, he had, at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja addressed a group of persons who, he reassured of his cause to create anarchy in the country.

It may be recalled that the Service had on 3rd December, 2019 raised alarm about a plot to destabilize the country. It is quite remarkable that the plot has already started playing out.

To ensure this objective is further achieved, some persons and groups are scurrying to seize the opportunity of the misleading court incident and the wrong narrative against the DSS to organize an insurrection in the country. They have continued to falsely curry and mobilize international sentiments and attention, through clear misrepresentation of the facts, for their selfish ends.

For emphasis, it should be noted that SOWORE is facing trial not as an activist, journalist or a politician, but for his resort to call for violence, forceful takeover of government and suspected transnational illegal activities.

It is most unfortunate that SOWORE, shortly after being released from custody, based on court order, resorted to acts inimical to security. To this effect, only SOWORE has been re-arrested as his co-defendant, Olawale BAKARE, was not picked up even when FALANA had promised to deliver him to the Service that is not presently interested in him.

Though sections of the populace have been fed with spurious narratives about these developments, Nigerians and the International Community should not be gullible or even vulnerable to the machinations of groups desirous of misleading them.

The Service is committed to the discharge of its mandate of detecting and preventing threats against the internal security of Nigeria. It supports democracy in the country and will do all that is legal to protect it. It will also ensure that efforts of anti-democratic forces are frustrated.

Peter Afunanya, Ph.D
Public Relations Officer,
Department of State Services,
National Headquarters,
Abuja
7th December, 2019

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American Ambassador To Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard Reveal Condition For Visa Ban Review

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Visa Restriction

Mary Beth Leonard, the American ambassador to Nigeria has revealed the condition for reviewing the visa restriction imposed on Nigeria.

Leonard revealed this on Tuesday, February 17, after meeting with the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige in Abuja.

The ambassador noted that the US wants Nigeria to sort out problems with information sharing.

“I need to clarify something for you here. The immigrant visa ban does not affect people who are currently resident in the United States. It does not cancel the status of anyone who currently lives in the United States.

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“What Secretary Pompey said was that it was meant to be temporary. And it is about problems with information sharing which are investigable, achievable and resolvable and we look forward to Nigeria in a very short time being able to meet those information-sharing goals so that the decision can be reviewed.”

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Recall that the United States President, Donald Trump added Nigeria and six others to a new list of countries on America’s visa restriction.

According to the report, Nigerians would not be barred from entering the country but would not be issued with certain types of visas.

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SANWO-OLU BIDS JUSTICE BULKACHUWA FAREWELL, AS APPEAL COURT PRESIDENT RETIRES

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Appeal Court

…Lagos’ll Always Keep Faith In The Rule Of Law, Says Governor

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has said his administration will not deviate from the tenet of constitutional democracy, promising that actions of the State Government under his watch will be kept within the ambit of the law.

He said his Government’s faith in the judicial system remained unshakable, adding that Lagos had been a beneficiary of the rule of law.

Sanwo-Olu spoke on Wednesday while receiving the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab Adamu Bulkachuwa, on a courtesy visit at the Lagos House in Marina.

Justice Bulkachuwa, who was accompanied by other Justices of the Appeal Court, is retiring from the service after reaching the mandatory retirement period.

The Governor said Lagos would always stand on the good side of the law, adding that his administration would particularly stand in principle against actions that may undermine the independence of the Court.

He said: “Government in Lagos State is committed to ensuring that we all live within the ambit of the law. We will continue to engage the judiciary as an independent arm of the government. All of us in the executive arm will continue to uphold the tenet of the constitution that we swore to in our ways and deeds. We will not run foul of the law or any pronouncement of the Court.”

Sanwo-Olu saluted the outgoing Justice Bulkachuwa for her courage in driving far-reaching reforms in the Court of Appeal, saying her legacies would strengthen administration of justice across the country. The Governor said her legacies would be a guiding light for members of the judiciary and officers in the other arms of government.

The Governor said: “We are happy that you are proceeding to retirement at this prime age. You are now 70 years old but you are looking like a 50-year-old. Glory be to Almighty Allah for the grace of youthful appearance and energy. You have had a wonderful career in the judiciary.

“The several successes you have recorded during your tenure as President of the Court of Appeal will continue to be the legacy we will uphold in remembrance of your service to the nation. You are the oldest serving President of the Court of Appeal and you brought many reforms and laudable initiatives to strengthen the judicial process.

“Whoever is succeeding you will have enough to draw from your legacies. We hope you keep your doors open not only to the judiciary but also all of us who are looking forward to learn from your leadership skills.”

Justice Bulkachuwa said she would dedicate her retirement life to promoting girl-child education across the country, noting that she would not have achieved her potential had her father not given her a chance to go to school.

She was hopeful that the reforms and discipline she had instituted in the judiciary would be strengthened by the serving members, pointing out that she had mentored a new breed of judicial officers to entrench “good legacies” she is leaving behind.

“I will still be with my sisters and brother in the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal and High Courts. I have mentored so many young judicial officers and upcoming lawyers to carry on the legacies. I will still be part of the judicial system despite my retirement,” Justice Bulkachuwa said.

Asked why she chose to visit Lagos Governor in her first valedictory visit to any elected official, Justice Bulkachuwa said it was in Lagos the first Court of Appeal was set up among the three divisions created in 1976.

Besides, she said Lagos is playing pivotal roles in the administration of justice system, pointing out that majority of lawyers in the judiciary are serving in the State. She added that most of Appeal Court’s cases were being instituted in Lagos.

 

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FRSC Blames Low Literacy For High Rates Of Road Crashes

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Literacy

 

The Kastina State Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Ali Tanimu, has blamed the low level of literacy for the high rate of road crashes on highways.

Tanimu stated this during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday, February 18.

Speaking in Katsina, he said that most drivers do not understand the Highway Code.

His word: ‘’They either don’t buy them or they do not care to read and understand it. Most of the crashes are avoidable if the motorists will abide by the laid down traffic rules and regulations,’’ he said.

‘’Due to the nature of our roads, some drivers overtake on a bridge, sharp bends or hilly areas where they cannot see far distance. ‘’In most cases, what will happen is either the vehicle will jump into the bridge or it will have a head-on collision with another vehicle,’’ he said.

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The sector commander further said that making phone calls while driving also contributes to high rates of accidents on highways.

‘’Some of the drivers even went to the extent of checking or writing SMS text messages while driving, and the worst part of it, is that the passengers will just keep quiet,’’ he said

According to the sector commander, some drivers mix and overloads human beings with animals or goods, and drive at high speed. According to him, in such circumstances, when there is an accident, it will be fatal. He thus advised drivers not exceed 100-speed limits for the safety of passengers.

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‘’If you want to travel far, you should have to start the journey in good time to avoid overspending.”

The sector commander further urged motorists to ensure that their vehicles have good headlamps if they want to travel in the night; good tyres and no mechanical fault, explaining that all those are contained in the code, as such drivers should endeavour to study it.

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