NIGERIA’S State Security Service (SSS) has filed a legal challenge against a Federal High Court order only allowing it to only detain Omoyele Sowore for 45 days saying he and Nnamdi Kanu are planning to overthrow the government.
Earlier this month, men of the SSS picked up Mr Sowore in Lagos as he was planning to organise a series of nationwide demonstrations under the banner #RevolutionNow. He has since been moved to their headquarters in Abuja and the federal government asked for a court order to detain him for 90 days but this request was denied by the Abuja Federal High Court, only allowing the SSS to detain him for 45 days.
Among other things, the government has accused Mr Sowore of committing a treasonable act for calling on Nigerians to pour out on the streets on August 5 to protest against his government’s failure to improve the living conditions of Nigerians. According to the SSS, its investigation so far revealed that #RevolutionNow was allegedly a smokescreen for the actual intention of Mr Sowore and his allies to topple the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
SSS officials said they were engaged in a painstaking investigation of activities of Mr Sowore and in view of the quantum of evidence so far gathered, may return to court to seek an extension of the 45 days granted by the Abuja court to detain him. In the counter-affidavit deposed to by Godwin Agbadua, an official of the SSS, it was stated that Mr Sowore was arrested on reasonable suspicion of having committed a capital offence, upon his alleged involvement in terrorists’ activities.
His affidavit read: “The respondent/applicant, Sowore, planned to violently change the government through #RevolutionNow. The respondent/applicant hid under the cover of call for mass protest with # RevolutionNow to mislead unsuspecting and innocent members of the public into joining him to topple the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
“In his plot to topple the government the respondent/applicant held series of meetings with members at a prescribed terrorist organisation, Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (Ipob) with a view to mobilising strong forces to realise his agenda at changing the government. The respondent formed an alliance with a fugitive, Nnamdi Kanu, a self-acclaimed leader of the proscribed terrorists group Ipob, to launch series of attacks on Nigeria with a view to violently removing the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“After series of closed-door meetings between the duo in the United States of America, they addressed a press conference wherein they both stated their resolve to form alliance against the Nigerian government. The duo stated that they have a well-planned out strategy to realise their objective, which is toppling the government.
“Also, the respondent held series of meetings with some foreign collaborators outside Nigeria including Dubai where millions of dollars were given to him to sponsor a widespread attack on Nigeria with a view to violently removing the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and freeing Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky. In furtherance to the plans to violently free El-Zakzaky from lawful custody. the respondent held several meetings with a proscribed terrorists organisation, the Islamic Movement in Nigeria where they strategised on how to carry out attacks to force the government to free El-Zakzaky.”