The Federal High Court in Abuja on Tuesday asked the Director-General of the State Security Service (SSS), Yusuf Bichi, to give a reason why it should not make an order sending him to prison.
The court documents which was shown to journalists on Tuesday by a top court official stated that this was a result of the SSS disobeying its orders to release the detained publisher of Sahara Reporters, Omoyele Sowore.
However, the SSS later on Tuesday released Mr Sowore on the order of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami.
One of the court documents was titled: “Notice to show cause why the order of your committal to prison should not be made.”
“Pursuant to Order 35 Rules 1(1) 2 and 3 of the Federal High Court Civil Procedure Rules, Order IX, Rule (13) of the judgement and (enforcement) Rules, Section 308, Section 72 of the Sheriff and Civil Process Act, 2004.
“Take notice that this Court shall be moved on the…… day of……..2019 to order for your committal to prison for having neglected to obey and willfully flouting and desecrating the orders made on November, 2019,9 per Hon. Justice Ijeoma 0jukwu mandating you to release the Defendants/Applicant and this Court has been informed that as at today, December 17, 2019, the first Defendant/Applicant is still in your custody.
“And Further take notice that you are hereby required to attend the court on the first-mentioned day to show cause why an order for your committal should not be made.”
On two occasions, the court had directed the SSS to release Mr Sowore or the agency would be guilty of contempt and its DG liable to be committed to prison.
“Take notice that unless you obey the direction contained in the order of the Federal High Court of Justice, Abuja made on the 6 November 2019, which ordered you to release the Defendants/Applicants in Suit No; FHC/ABJ/CR/235/2019 forthwith, you will be guilty of contempt of court and will be liable to be committed to prison. A copy of the said order of court earlier served on you is hereby annexed for your on-the-spot reference.
“This court has been informed that even as at today, Tuesday the 12 November 2019 you are yet to comply with the lawful order of the Federal High Court by refusing to release the Defendants/Applicants namely: Omoyele Stephen Sowore and Olawale Adebayo Bakare (MANDATE), in your custody. You are hereby directed to comply with the court order forthwith or you will be guilty of contempt of court,” the document read.