Omoyele Sowore, convener of the foiled “Revolution Now” protest, has said the Department of State Services (DSS) lack the power to file charges of terrorism against him.
He said this in a counter-application deposed on his behalf by Abubakar Marshal before the Federal High Court, Abuja, to challenge the suit initiated against him by the DSS.
Sowore, who was the presidential candidate of the Africa Action Congress (AAC) in the 2019 general elections, has been in the custody of the domestic intelligence agency since August 3, following his call for a protest march against the government.
In his counter-application, Sowore argued that the motion against him in court was filed by the State Security Services (SSS) and not the DSS.
He posited that even though the DSS was mentioned in the terrorism act, it was not empowered to arrest and prosecute him as the agency was purportedly not created by the National Assembly, therefore, “it is not juristic person”.
The application partly read: “The fact the SSS and DSS are used interchangeably in Nigeria has not conferred a legal status on the DSS.
“In any case the motion ex parte herein was filed by the SSS and not DSS. As far as the law is concerned the applicant/respondent have no power to substitute for the DSS.
“Furthermore, the state security service established pursuant to section 2 of the National Security Agencies act has not empowered to arrest, investigate and prosecute the respondent/applicant or any person.
“Unlike the Nigeria Police Force, the Independent and Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, and the Financial Crimes Commission etc which are clothed with powers to arrest, detain and prosecute suspects the applicant/respondent has not been so empowered to arrest, investigate and prosecute any person.”
Sowore also contended that use of the word “revolution” does not amount to a criminal offence in the country.
“Since a revolutionary change of government requires the complete overhaul of the legal and social order the August 5 protest is not a revolution in the eye of the law,” the application stated.
Sowore was arrested in Lagos by DSS operatives and subsequently moved to Abuja, where he is currently under detention.