Human rights lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana, has accused the Federal Government of planning to transfer his clients, Omoyele Sowore and Adebayo Bakare from the custody of the Department of State Service (DSS) to prison.
Falana alleged that the government had applied to the Federal High Court in Abuja for an order of transfer of his clients from DSS custody to prison.
In a letter to the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN) on Sunday, Falana asked the minister to direct the DSS to release his clients.
The lawyer also asked the Federal Government to start obeying orders from Nigerian courts the same way it heeds the ruling of foreign courts.
He also threatened to report both Malami and the prosecutor appointed by the minister to prosecute his clients, Dr Hassan Liman (SAN), to both the Nigerian Bar Association and the Legal Practitioners’ Disciplinary Committee, for allegedly encouraging the DSS to continue to disobey the court orders for his clients’ release.
Falana noted that the Federal Government did not give any pre-condition before obeying the foreign court as it does at home.
He, therefore, asked the federal government to comply with court orders and release Sowore and Bakare.
The letter read: “In treating the court order with provocative contempt, the State Security Service has insisted on approving the sureties of our clients after they have been verified by the Federal High Court.
“From the information at our disposal, there is no precedent whatsoever for the illegal demand.
“Instead of purging the security agency of such contempt of the Federal High Court, the prosecutor, Dr Hassan Liman (SAN), engaged by your good self to prosecute our clients, has curiously applied to the trial court to have them transferred to a correctional centre and detained indefinitely for having the temerity to question the illegal directive to produce their sureties.”
It added: “In view of the fact that the Federal Government has never given any precondition before complying with the orders of the British Court in the case of P & ID and other matters, we are compelled to request you to direct the State Security Service to comply with the orders of the Federal High Court for the unconditional release of our clients.
“Take notice that if you fail to accede to our request, we shall be compelled to carry out the firm instructions of our clients to pursue the contempt proceedings which have been initiated against Mr Yusuf Bichi, the Director-General of the State Security Service.
“In addition, we shall also report your good self and the prosecutor to the Nigerian Bar Association and the Legal Practitioners Privileges Committee for encouraging the State Security Service to treat orders of Nigerian courts with disdain while you are anxious to obey the orders of British courts.”