Nigeria: Sowore - Malami Writes SSS, Demands to Take Over Case

13 December 2019

The Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, has written to the State Security Service (SSS, also called DSS) to forward the case file of Omoyele Sowore to his office.

Mr Malami's directive was contained in a statement sent by his spokesperson, Umar Gwandu.

Mr Gwandu said the request for the transfer of the case to Mr Malami's office was contained in a letter dated December 11, 2019 and addressed to the Director General of the SSS, Yusuf Bichi.

Mr Sowore was arrested by the SSS and was being prosecuted by the Nigerian government.

Mr Malami's letter suggests the prosecution was being done by the SSS without carrying his office along.

The directive comes one week after SSS officials last Friday invaded the Abuja Federal High Court to re-arrest Mr Sowore who was only released less than 24 hours before following a court order.

Many Nigerians as well as local and international organisations have condemned the SSS invasion and re-arrest of the activist with some calling for Mr Bichi's sack.

In his statement, Mr Gwandu quoted Mr Malami as saying "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."

Read Mr Gwandu's full statement below.

Sowore: FG's probe intensified, as AGF wants speedy Justice dispensation*

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.

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 a 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 refereed 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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