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The Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters has asked the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, the State Security Service (SSS) and counsel to Omoyele Sowore, Femi Falana, to submit their testimonies on the alleged invasion of a Federal High Court within 24 hours.

The committee also asked the Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission, Tony Ojukwu, the Chief Judge of Federal High Court and the presiding judge at the time of the invasion, Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu, for the same report.

SSS operatives invaded the Federal High Court in Abuja to rearrest the Publisher of SaharaReporters, Mr Sowore, a few hours after he was released on December 6.

Each of the memoranda is expected to detail the events of that day.

Giving the directive, the committee chairman, Opeyemi Bamidele, said the panel was unable to hold the scheduled investigative hearing as the Senate suspended all activities in honour of Benjamin Uwajumogu, the 51-year-old Imo senator who died in Abuja on Wednesday.

The Senate had adjourned sitting for the day – as is its rule.

“He was on the floor of the Senate two days ago. We need to show concern for the departed soul,” Mr Bamidele said. “Therefore, avail us with memorandum within 24 hours. We have contacted the Office of the Chief of the High Court to give us their perspective of what happened, including the presiding judge.

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“We’ll like to have the memoranda before the close of work on Friday,” he said.

The Senate mandated its committee on Judiciary, Human Rights Rights and Legal Matters, to investigate the court invasion of a federal high court and rearrest of Mr Sowore by operatives of the SSS.

The resolution by the Senate was made one week after the incident – after Nigerians criticised the lawmakers for failing to react and address the issue.

The SSS operatives had on December 5, invaded the Federal High Court in Abuja to rearrest Mr Sowore a few hours after he was released.

Mr Sowore was arrested alongside another activist, Olawale Bakare, on August 3 for planning a protest to call for good governance. They were charged with treasonable felony, fraud and insulting the President.

The court granted the duo bail twice but the SSS refused to release them until December 5.

However, less than 24 hours later, the SSS rearrested them within the federal high court in Abuja, sparking national outrage.

The presidency had said Mr Sowore’s call for revolution was aimed at overthrowing the democratically elected of Nigeria.

Some activists and international organisations have condemned the rearrest and called for the sack of the Director-General of the State Security Service (SSS), Yusuf Bichi, over the illegal detention of Omoyele Sowore, and Friday’s invasion of a federal court.

The Nigerian Bar Association also called for the suspension of Mr Bichi.


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