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The Senate on Wednesday invited Femi Falana, the lead lawyer of the publisher of Sahara Reporters, Omoyele Sowore, to appear before it over the December 6 invasion of the Federal High Court in Abuja by operatives of the State Security Services (SSS)

In a letter seen by PREMIUM TIMES, Wednesday night, Mr Falana was asked to appear before the Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal matters on Thursday by 10:00 a.m.

The letter was signed by the chairman of the committee, Micheal Bamidele.

The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, had on December 11, directed the committee on judiciary to commence an investigation into the matter and report in one week time

PREMIUM TIMES reported how SSS officials invaded the court on December 6, in a bid to rearrest an activist, Omoyele Sowore.

Mr Sowore had been released Thursday night (December 5), after 124 days in detention, based on the order of a judge, Ijeoma Ojukwu.

The publisher is facing trial alongside an activist, Olawale Bakare, for treasonable felony, fraud, cyber-stalking and for ‘abusing’ President Buhari.

Many Nigerians have criticised the president for not condemning the court invasion and holding the SSS officials accountable.

The SSS spokesperson, Peter Afunnaya, has distanced his agency from any wrongdoing. He said Mr Sowore was mobbed by his “supporters” who were trying to shield him from “an imaginary arrest.”

Mr Sowore’s lawyer, Mr Falana, however, said not only did the SSS invade the court premises, but its official also apologised to the judge, afterwards.

This newspaper reported how the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, on December said the federal government has ordered an investigation into the invasion.

Senate’s letter

In the letter to the lawyer, the Senate noted that the court is a temple of justice which should not be disrespected.

The letter added that lawmakers and Nigerians would like to know what actually transpired in the court.

The letter reads, “Pursuant to Rule 43 of the Senate Standing Orders, 2015, as amended, Senator Michael O. Bamidele (Ekiti Central Senatorial District), drew the attention of the Senate to the alleged court invasion by officers of the Department of State Services on Friday, December 6, 2019.

“He stated that the courtroom is a temple of justice, which should be devoid of such practices.

“As such, Nigerians deserve to know what transpired in the court and he urged the Senate to investigate the matter.

“Consequently, the Senate deliberated on the matter and after extensive deliberations, it was referred to the Committee on the judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters to among other things conduct an investigation on the alleged invasion of the court and report back to the Senate.”

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