The Department of State Services (DSS) has released Omoyele Sowore, convener of RevolutionNow Movement, who has been in detention since August 3.
A DSS source said on Thursday night. Marshall Abubakar, one of the lawyers of Sowore, later confirmed the development.
“He has been released. I am with him as we speak,” he told TheCable over the phone, adding that Olawale Bakare, Sowore’s co-defendant, had also been set free.
The federal government had come under intense pressure over the detention of the activists despite fulfilling the conditions of the bail granted to them.
On Wednesday, Wole Soyinka, Nobel laureate, had rated the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari as the worst in the history of the country in terms of disregard for the judiciary.
Soyinka had said this while commenting on the detention of Sowore and Bakare.
On Thursday when the DSS arraigned the duo at a federal high court in Abuja for the commencement of their trial on charges of “treasonable felony”, Ijeoma Ojukwu, the presiding judge, gave the secret police a 24-hour ultimatum to release them.
The judge said after she signed the warrants for the release of the defendants from custody, and same was served on the defendants, the DSS had no justifiable reason to continue to hold them in custody.
The prosecuting counsel, Hassan Liman (SAN), had insisted that the DSS had not obeyed the court order for their release, the DSS had no power to constitute itself into a parallel court.
The judge also awarded the cost of N100,000 against the prosecution to be paid to the defendants for foisting “frivolous adjournment” on the court.
She ordered that the cost must be paid before the next hearing which is Friday.
In a video addressed to President Muhammadu Buhari and Yusuf Bichi, director-general of DSS, on Tuesday, Sowore’s mother had demanded the release of her son whom she described as someone who is always against injustice.