Sowore: Senate probes DSS court room invasion

The Senate Thursday ordered its Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters to carry out  thorough probe of the widely reported alleged invasion of the Federal High Court Abuja last week Friday by operatives of the Department of State Service ( DSS).

The court invasion took place precisely during judicial proceedings on bail application for Omoyele Sowore earlier granted by Justice Chioma Ojukwu on Thursday last week .
Drawing the attention of the Senate to the invasion and controversy trailing it through order 43 of the Senate’s Standing rules , Senator Micheal Opeyemi Bamidele ( APC Ekiti Central)  said since the matter has  remained in the public domain within the last one week with attendant concerns in different quarters, there was need for Senate to look into it.

Bamidele who incidentally is the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Judiciary , Human Rights and Legal Matters, added that Senate’s attention on the matter was specifically needed in addressing the concerns and worries it has raised within the leadership of the Judiciary in particular.

He said, “I rise to draw the attention of this Senate to a matter that has been in public domain and especially as the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, the reported alleged invasion of the court room again by alleged officials of the Department of State Security.

“It is one issue that has raised a lot of concern in different quarters in Nigeria. The leadership and members of the judiciary are particularly concerned about this development because  they believe like the rest of us do, that the courtroom is meant to be a sanctuary but for us as  Senate, we cannot begin to take a position or analyze the issues based on conclusion without facts that we consider incontrovertible.

“Yet, much as we cannot just jump into conclusions, it is also a fact that we cannot pretend not to know that Nigerians are concerned about this development. 
“The reason I have chosen to come under Order 43 so that I will not generate any controversy or even make the Senate to begin to debate or engage in a debate over an issue in respect of which like I said earlier, we still need to have incontrovertible facts and evidence.
“In  view of this, I just want to say that as elected representatives of the people in whom Nigerians including the judiciary must find their voice that we mandate our Committee on National Security and Intelligence to interface with the relevant security agencies, look into this matter, investigate what happened and report back to the Senate on this matter. 

But the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, in his remarks and ruling , directed the Senate committee on Judiciary headed by Bamidele himself , to carry out the investigation and report back within a week.

Lawan explained that since Senator Bamidele moved the motion through order 43 under personal explanation , it cannot be debated as he rightly submitted and that there was no need for such debate on the matter at this stage .
“Distinguished colleagues, you know Order 43 does not allow for any debate and since this is a matter that affects the Judiciary, we rather mandate to your committee to find out what happened. 
“So I would suggest that our committee on judiciary investigates, finds out what actually happened  and then report back to us in one week,” he said. 

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