Justice Anwuli Chikere, in a judgment, also ordered the
DSS to release forthwith the iPhones and the sum of
N10,000 which were alleged to have been forcefully taken
away from him without a court warrant.
Oniftv reports that Sowore,
through his lawyer, Funmi Falana, in a fundamental rights
enforcement suit, had alleged that the operatives of the
DSS, on Aug. 3, 2019, at a hotel in Lagos, forcefully took
away his iPhones and the sum of N10, 000 when he was
arrested on allegations bordering on treasonable felony
The judge ordered the DSS, the 1st respondent in the
case, to also tender an apology in two national dailies
within two months.
Chikere described the forceful seizure of the personal
property of the publisher of SaharaReporters as “illegal,
unconstitutional, null and void and gross violation of his
fundamental rights as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution.
She said the DSS ought to have obtained a court order
before the confiscation of his belongings and that the
seizure can no be regarded as ‘” temporary” since 2019.
The judge also held that the claim by the DSS that his
phones were still under investigation since 2019 over his
alleged link with terrorists was untenable, illegal and
Sowore’s lawyer, Falana, while reacting to the judgement,
expressed happiness and described it as a victory for
NAN reports that the DSS had, on Dec 1, told the court
that it was still investigating the mobile phones of Sowore
still under its custody.
The security outfit stated that contrary to the allegations,
the phones were “recovered” during his arrest and not
The agency added that the phones were still being
investigated for links to terrorism.
But Falana had challenged the DSS on the legality of the
seizure without a valid court order.
She urged the judge to dismiss the preliminary objections
and order the return of Sowore’s phones as well as pay
N20 million in damages to the applicant.
Justice Chikere then adjourned the matter until Dec. 8 for
Sowore was first arrested on Aug. 3, 2019, for organising a
protest tagged: “#RevolutionNow,” and charged to court
on allegations bordering on treason, among others.
He was charged alongside his co-defendant, Olawale
Bakare, before Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of a Federal High
He had remained in detention until Dec. 5, 2019, when he
was released on bail.
On Dec. 6, he was rearrested inside the court by DSS
operatives and was kept in custody until Dec. 24, 2019,
when he was later released to stand his trial.
NAN reports that the case has since been reassigned to
Justice Bolaji Olajuwon, following Ojukwu’s transfer to
Calabar Division of the court.