Court To Hear Sowore, Bakare’s N1billion Suit Against DSS, AGF For Unlawful Detention After 15 Months

The Federal High Court in Abuja will on Wednesday, February 24, hear a separate suit filed by human rights activist and Convener of #RevolutionNow, Omoyele Sowore, and his co-defendant, Olawale Bakare, against the Department of State Services and the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami over alleged unlawful detention. 

In separate fundamental rights enforcement suits filed before the court, the duo maintained that they are entitled to general and aggravated damages of N500 million each as a result of violations of their rights to personal liberty, dignity of a person, fair hearing, family life, freedom of association and freedom of movement.

The suits marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1407/2019, and FHC/ABJ/CS/1428/2019, were filed on November 15 and 20, 2019 respectively.

Justice Inyang Ekwo had in 2020 adjourned the matter five times, thereby delaying the hearing of the case.

The activists asked the court to declare that their unlawful detention by the Department of State Services was “illegal as it violates their fundamental right to liberty”. 

Sowore and Bakare also asked the court to order the DSS to pay them N500 million each as damages for their detention and violation of fundamental rights.

They also sought an order of perpetual injunction restraining the respondents from further violating their fundamental rights in any manner whatsoever and howsoever without lawful justification.

The parties in the suits had in the last adjourned date regularised the processes filed in the matter.

Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu had, on November 6, 2019, ordered the release of the duo from the DSS custody but they were rearrested after meeting the bail conditions.

Sowore was arrested on August 3, 2019, for calling on Nigerians to take to the streets in peaceful demonstrations to demand a better country from the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, while Bakare was arrested on August 5, for participating in the protest. 

They were held in custody from that time until December 24, 2019, when they were finally released on bail. 

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