SaharaReporters publisher, Omoyele Sowore, and his co-detainee, Adebayo Bakare, have been freed by the Department of State Service.
They were freed hours after Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court in Abuja gave the DSS 24 hours ultimatum to release the two men.
Their lead defence counsel, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), confirmed this development to our correspondent on Thursday.
He said they were released about 7pm on Thursday.
“They were released about 30 minutes ago. They were released to one of our lawyers,” he said.
He also told our correspondent that the agency had paid the sum of N100,000 awarded against it by Justice Ojukwu for making the court to adjourn till Friday for frivolous reasons on Thursday.
The two men who are now being prosecuted by the Federal Government on charges of treason were arrested in August this year over their call for ‘Revolution’ protest against bad governance.
But the DSS continued to hold them in custody despite separate court orders for their release.
It came to a head on Thursday when the judge, who frowned at the conduct of the DSS, issued a fresh order directing the agency to release them within 24 hours.
Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu while giving the order, noted that after she had signed the warrants for the release of the defendants from custody, and same were served on the defendants, the DSS had no justifiable reason to continue to hold Sowore and Bakare in custody.
The prosecuting counsel, Hassan Liman (SAN), on Wednesday insisted that the DSS had not disobeyed the court order for the defendants’ release, saying it was the detainees’ sureties for the bail granted the defendants by the court that had failed to approach the DSS to receive them from custody.