…As Presidency says Nigerians deserve peace, dismisses insinuations over Sowore’s arrest***
The Department of State Services (DSS) says the circulation of a video clip on attempt to rearrest Omoyele Sowore, the convener of the RevolutionNow protest in a courtroom was a mischief.
The Presidency also dismissed insinuations in the media about the re-arrest by the Department of State Services (DSS) of Omoyele Sowore, saying no government will allow anybody to openly call for destabilization in the country and do nothing.
Dr Peter Afunanya, the DSS Public Relations’ Officer (PRO) in a statement on Sunday in Abuja said the video was meant to serve as propaganda to bring the service to disrepute.
He said the statement was in response to the serial misinformation being circulated in the media on the involvement of the service in the incident that occurred on Dec. 6 at the Federal High Court.
Afunanya said Mr Femi Falana, SAN, Counsel to Sowore had during the court proceeding informed the judge that he was suspicious of a move by the service to rearrest his client.
He said the court discountenanced the suspicion, noting that the service was law abiding and would not engage in the act.
The PRO said it was on that ground that the court adjourned till February, 2020.
According to him, 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 Sowore crowd acted out its orchestrated drama.
“DSS personnel were never, at any time, involved in the incident. In actual fact, it was his people who seized him,” he said.
He said reports had shown that the court had adjourned peacefully before suddenly, the unruly crowd imported into the courtroom went into frenzy on suspicion that DSS was sighted at the court premises.
Afunanya said the eventual re-arrest of Sowore was effected outside the courtroom adding that his counsel had affirmed it.
According to him, the DSS 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.
He said the service hold the judiciary in utmost respect and would continue to work with it for national peace and public safety.
In the meantime, the Presidency has dismissed insinuations in the media about the re-arrest by the Department of State Services (DSS) of Omoyele Sowore, saying no government will allow anybody to openly call for destabilization in the country and do nothing.
The President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, who stated this in a statement in Abuja on Sunday, said:
”Nigerians do not need another spate of lawlessness and loss of lives all in the name of ‘revolution’, especially not one that is orchestrated by a man who makes his home in far away New York – and who can easily disappear and leave behind whatever instability he intends to cause, to wit, Nnamdi Kanu.”
The Presidency notes some of the insinuations in the media about the arrest by the Department of State Services (DSS) of the agitator, Omoyele Sowore.
According to the presidential aide, the DSS does not necessarily need the permission of the Presidency in all cases to carry out its essential responsibilities that are laid down in the Nigerian Constitution.
He maintained that Sowore, who called for a revolution to overthrow the democratically elected government of Nigeria, “is a person of interest to the DSS.”
Shehu said: “He did so on television, and from a privileged position as the owner of a widely read digital newspaper run from the U.S.
“He founded an organisation, Revolution Now, to launch, in their own words, “Days of Rage”, with the publicised purpose of fomenting mass civil unrest and, the elected administration’s overthrow.
Also read: Court gives DSS 24 hours to release Sowore
“No government will allow anybody to openly call for destabilisation in the country and do nothing.
“Mr Sowore is no ordinary citizen expressing his views freely on social media and the internet.
“He was a presidential candidate himself, who ran – and lost – as the flag bearer of the African Action Congress (AAC) in the Feb. 23 general elections.”
He further observed that Nigeria’s democracy was a long time in the making, and was achieved after “decades of often harsh, military-led overthrows of government: the kind of situation Sowore was advocating.
“To believe in and desire armed revolution is not normal amongst ‘human rights activists’, as Sowore has been incorrectly described.
“Again, it is no surprise that he should be a person of interest to the DSS.’
According to Shehu, Nigeria is already dealing with an insurgency that has left millions of people displaced and desperate in the northeastern region of the country.
“The Boko Haram militants, who are behind the violence, also fancy themselves to be fighting for some sort of revolution,” he added.
The presidential aide, therefore, opined that Sowore’s self-imposed predicament “is a matter for the DSS, acting under its powers.”