sowore , dss prison, custody

Sowore has since been informed that he will appear at the Federal High Court, Maitama on Monday, 30th September 2019. So, he is excited and happy to be stepping outside the walls of DSS detention centre first time in 52 days.

By 8am, he would pack his few belonging (his phones will remain with the DSS) and he will be taken in a DSS vehicle escorted by about 12 DSS personnel. To make sure his supporters do not disrupt anything, the DSS would alert the Abuja police command, which will send up to 30 policemen to take positions near the court premises to avoid any unruly crowd.

By 8:45am, Sowore will arrive at the court, where his lawyers and friends will be waiting to meet him. But only his lawyers will be allowed to meet him briefly before they enter inside the courtroom. Sowore will not be handcuffed.

Court hearing

Immediately the court opens, Sowore’s will be called; He will enter the dock as the defendant. The DSS lawyer (a prosecutor from the Ministry of Justice) will announce his appearance with two to three other lawyers with him. Femi Falana will announce his appearance with more than 5 lawyers with him (Sowore Defendant).

The Registrar of the Court will ask Sowore if he understands English, to which he will likely answer yes.

The Register will read each count of the 7-count charges, at the end of each; the registrar will ask him to plead either guilty or not guilty. Sowore will plead not guilty to each count.

Then the prosecutor will ask the court to set a date for trial and to remand the Defendant.

Falana will inform the Court that he has filed a bail application and served the DSS. The prosecutor will admit that they have been served with bail application but that they need time to respond.

The court will adjourn the case for about a week to two weeks to enable the prosecution to file its counter affidavit and for the bail to be argued, and then the court will remand Sowore.

The question here is where Sowore will be remanded.

The normal place to remand a person after arraignment is in the prisons (corrections now); But DSS has in some few cases tried to have a high profile defendant remanded in their custody such as Dasuki and El-Zakzaky. We believe that DSS will treat Sowore no differently from Nnamdi Kanu and since Nnamdi Kanu was remanded in Kuje, that’s where Sowore will be remanded.

Once remanded in Kuje around 11am today, either the DSS or the prison warders will take Sowore to Kuje prison where he will be processed and assigned to a cell and custody, the next day he will start his medical tests to ensure he has no communicable diseases that may require him being isolated from the general inmate population.

Sowore will find the prison less restricted than the DSS detention centre, even though the food at the DSS is better than in the prisons. In the prison, Sowore will determine whether he will eat the prison ration or to be allowed to feed himself.

Inmates on self-feeding have choice over what they eat. He will be allowed to have visitors and to call his lawyer and family through the prison welfare department.

Having been in DSS detention centre for over 50 days, it will be a relief for Sowore to be in prison custody from today.

The DSS detention is far more isolating and restricted than the prisons.

For Sowore, today marks an end to one chapter in his criminal justice experience, while it opens another new Chapter for him.
By: Chikwado blind poet



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