By Emmanuel Udom
The Police authorities have been asked to release Publisher of Sahara Reporters, Omoyele Sowore without delay.
Human and Environmental Development Agenda, (HEDA Resource Centre), in a press statement urged the police to release Sowore who was on bail for trump up treason charges considered by many as trumped up, before his recent arrest.
Olanrewaju Suraju, HEDA’s chairman, said the arrest of Sowore on New Year’s eve was an ill thought action to compound his current face off with Nigerian authorities.
It could be recalled that the police December 31, last year arrested Sowore, while he was leading a political vigil organised against corruption and bad governance.
But, HEDA said Sowore ought to have been granted bail by the police but that instead he was kept behind bars and compelled to spend the traditional cross over night behind bars.
The group said it may be compelled to renew another global campaign that will embarrass the Nigerian government if he was not released or charged to competent court of law.
“We call for the unconditional release of the Sahara Reporters Publisher, who was arrested on December 31 and has yet to be taken to court. The police should release him without any further delay”
HEDA said Sowore is a victim of political persecution whose tormentors are anxious to bring down because of his online medium which is noted for being critical of the Nigerian authorities
“Since 2019, the Nigerian government has been keeping Sowore in detention on trumped up charges. His recent ordeal leading to his arrest on New Year’s eve is in furtherance of a plot to ensure his continuous incarceration by the Nigerian government” Suraju said.
Meanwhile, Human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), has said that a former presidential candidate of the African Action Congress, AAC, in the 2019 Presidential election, and Sahara Reporters Publisher, Omoyele Sowore has asked him to sue the Nigerian Police for torturing and violating his fundamental human right.
Sowore was arrested along with his friends for leading a “crossover protest” in Abuja. He accused Nigerian police of violating his human right. In view of that he instructed his lawyer, ‘Falana’ to sue the Police.
Confirming this, Falana in a text message to the media, said: “Since Mr. Sowore’s fundamental right to dignity has been recklessly violated by the police we have his instructions to press for charges against all the officers who subjected him to physical and mental torture in contravention of the letter and spirit of the provisions of the Anti Torture Act of 2017. READ ALSO: Falana accuses Garba Shehu of falsifying details of meeting with Sowore “Mr. Sowore who was covering an event at the time of his arrest has maintained that he did not breach any of the COVID-19 regulations.
He has been detained indefinitely on the basis of orders “from above. “The police officers who arrested Mr. Omoyele Sowore at Abuja on January 31, 2020, subjected him to severe beating and left him with bruises all over his body. As if that was not enough he has been locked up in the midst of armed robbery suspects at a notorious detention facility called abattoir maintained by the disbanded Special Anti Robbery Squad in Abuja.
“The physical torture to Mr. Sowore was prolonged by the refusal of the police to provide him with medical attention. Although Mr. Sowore’s injuries are being treated by his personal physician, the police authorities have refused the application of the detainee for bail even though the alleged offence of breaching COVID-19 regulations is ‘bailable’.