The Department of State Services has claimed that pro-democracy campaigner and Publisher of Sahara Reporters, Omoyele Sowore, on his own volition made a choice to be kept in their custody instead of a correctional centre.
DSS claimed that instead of being remanded at the Kuje Correctional Center in line with the order of the court, Sowore preferred to be kept in their facility.
In a statement on Friday, Public Relations Officer of the DSS, Peter Afunanya, said, “There has been outcry about alleged illegal detention of some notable persons undergoing trials at the courts and disobedience to court orders by the Service.
“To put the records straight, the Service wishes to advert public attention to the circumstances that warranted the custody of Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd.) and Sheik Ibrahim El-Zakzaky in its facility.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the duo had appealed to the courts to be left in the custody of the Service instead of being taken to the correctional centres.
“Well-meaning Nigerians are equally witnesses to the case of Omoleye Sowore, who, on a similar order of the court was to be remanded at the Kuje or Suleja centres but preferred to be kept with the DSS.”
Afunanya added that Sowore had been accorded and treated with respect and courtesy in its facility.
He said the activist was allowed access to people and use of facilities like telephones, gymnasium, television, newspapers and medical treatment.
Recall that Sowore spoke from detention on Friday, alleging that the DSS was making frantic efforts to ensure that he was not be freed and that there were attempts to infiltrate the ranks of the #RevolutionNow movement by the secret police.
The DSS had come under intense pressure from within and outside Nigeria to release Sowore and Olawale Bakare widely known as Mandate after twice meeting their 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 Buhari.
The government has cooked up frivolous charges against him – among them insulting Buhari and trying to overthrow his administration – claims analysts around the world have described as laughable.