Sowore: Reps to investigate invasion of court

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The House of Representatives has directed the relevant house committees to investigate the event surrounding the rearrest of the founder of Sahara Reporters, Omoyele Sowore, in the Federal High Court, Abuja.

The motion was moved by Minority Leader, Ndudi Elumelu (PDP-Delta), under Matters of Urgent Public Importance at the plenary presided over by the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, on Tuesday.

The committees are National Security and Intelligence, Judiciary, and Human Rights.

Elumelu said the investigation was on the “invasion of the Federal High Court premises Abuja by yet to be identified persons”.

He described the invasion of the court by the unidentified persons as “disregard for the rule of law”.

“The videos emerging in public domain shows these unidentified person trying to bundle Omoyele Sowore and his co-accused Olawale Bakare away from the courtroom room, while Sowore’s supporters were resisting them, which is an abuse to the sanctity of the courtroom.

He expressed concern that “men of the civil society” claimed that the unidentified masked men were agents of the Department of the State Services (DSS).

“The DSS has denied through their spokesman, Peter Afunanya, that its personnel were never involved in the incident.

“Sections 4, 5 and 6 of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, guarantees the separation of powers and the independence of every arm of government. 

“A situation where one arm is seen to be overpowering another in the course of dispensing its duties will definitely spell doom for the separation of powers as enshrined in the constitution.”

The lawmaker also expressed worry that the “act of the persons disrupted judicial proceedings and made the presiding judge to abandon her duty post because of safety concerns.”

“This is a complete desecration of the temple of justice and such an action should be completely discouraged”.

He said that if the action was not properly checked, the National Assembly “may one day be invaded and the relevant security agencies will claim not knowing who the offenders are.”

He also said that the physical assault on Sowore and his co-defendant, Olawale Bakare, by the yet-to-be-identified persons inside the courtroom was the “highest act of sacrilege” in the  judiciary.

The House, however, directed the committees investigating to report back within two weeks.

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