The trial of the publisher of Sahara Reporter, Omoleye Sowore and his co-defendant, Adebayo Bakare assumed a different dimension on Friday as operatives of the Department of State Service (DSS) invaded the courtroom to rearrest Sowore, less than 24 hours of releasing him from unlawful detention on the order of Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu.
The commotion which paralysed the proceedings of the court started when armed DSS operatives cocked their guns to rearrest Sowore just after the judge had adjourned his trial till February 11, next year.
As Sowore and Bakare were leaving the courtroom and the judge was already attending to another case, armed DSS operatives who appeared to have laid an ambush for them, made to arrest them.
The move forced Sowore and Bakare to turn back to return to the courtroom, but Sowore was quickly held by an operative.
Sowore, who managed to free himself ran back into the court with the invading operatives cocking their guns as they went after him, a development that disrupted the ongoing proceedings at court.
Earlier, when the case was called, the prosecution counsel, Hassan Liman, had told the court, that the Thursday court order to release Sowore was complied with.
This was confirmed by Femi Falana, counsel to Sowore, who told the court that Sowore was released around 7.15 pm on Thursday.
On the agreement of counsel, the court adjourned till February 11, 12, 13, 2020 for the commencement of trial.
Meanwhile, Olawale Bakare, co-defendant to Sowore has been allegedly declared missing. While Sowore was driven back to the DSS in Falana’s car, where he is being currently detained, operatives of the agency are currently searching for Bakare in different parts of Abuja.
The uncertainty surrounding Bakare’s whereabouts at the moment has indeed added a new twist to the matter.
Meanwhile, Sowore’s counsel has described the action of the DSS as a “horrendous, bizarre, and barbaric contempt of court” never witnessed under “even the most brutal of past dictators that had ever ruled Nigeria”.