… He is inciting public against President Buhari
By Chuks Oyema-Aziken
A coalition of human rights group in the country has accused detained publisher of SaharaReporters, Omoyele Sowore of inciting the public against the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.
The group, under the aegis of Coalition of African Human Rights Network also said that Sowore despite being on bail went about on New Year’s Eve engaging in an illegal street procession, thereby breached the bail condition set out.
To this end, the Coalition in a statement urged the federal authorities to revoke the bail granted him following his earlier arrest and detention by the Department of State Service, DSS, for alleged treason.
They said Sowore had earlier warned him against engaging in such conduct.
Recall that Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court on October 4, 2019, granted bail of N100 million to Mr Sowore following his arrest and detention by the Department of State Service in the #RevolutionNow Protest he called.
Ojukwu had also said Mr Sowore should produce two sureties in like sum. Of the N100 million, N50 million was to be deposited with the court while the balance was to be put in place should Mr Sowore jump bail.
To this end, the group in a statement signed by its Nigeria’s Representative, Barr. (Mrs) Funke Ajibola and the Director, Public Affairs, Dr (Mrs) Fatima Hassan, appealed to the court not only to immediately revoke the bail condition but also have the detained activist face the law for his illegal action.
The Nigeria Police was commended for promptly arresting Mr Sowore.
The Coalition said the arrest nipped plans to have another wave of protest against the government similar to those of #RevolutionNow and #EndSARS which results it described as catastrophic to the country.
While seeking thorough investigation of Mr Sowore, the coalition asks government to remain firm and not shirk in its responsibility of taking actions aimed at safeguarding the country and its citizens.
According to the coalition, considering the monumental losses that usually occasion the hijack of any protest by hoodlums, and its consequential effects on the socio-economic life of the nation, only “unpatriotic elements” like Sowore would support, let alone promote another wave of protests, which end cannot be predicted.
“The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) only favours change of government through the instrumentality of the ballot – an exercise that comes after a period of four years.”
The coalition claimed that Sowore was being sponsored by failed politicians.
“We advise politicians, whose quest for power was not successful, to wait and test their popularity in the next round of elections, rather than seek to instigate unrest, to satisfy their selfish ends, and those of their pay-masters”
The group appealed to parents to advise their wards against allowing themselves to be misled by Mr Sowore, who it accused of attempting to deliberately blackmail President Muhammadu Buhari and his government.
While decrying the continuous inglorious activities of Mr Sowore, the coalition claimed that his actions were to feather his inordinate ambition.
“We recall with sadness that Mr Sowore in continuation of his several failed attempts to incite the populace and effect a regime change, engaged in another street procession, this time, on a day set aside to mark our entry into a new year. This is dishonourable.
“We are, however, not surprised at Mr Sowore’s insistence on protest given his antecedent. We recall that he had called on revolution against the present federal administration, leading to his arrest and detention. And given his ignoble role in this act, we are not surprised at what he is driving at. It is in this regard that we wish to strongly appeal to the security agencies to see Mr Sowore as a security threat and treat him as one.
“By this, we are not only calling on the government to revoke the bail granted him but also make him face the full wrath of the Nigerian law for flouting the conditions attached it.”
“It may be further recalled that, owing to the entrenchment of democratic tenets under the current administration, which adheres strictly to the principle of rule of law, institutional independence and non-interference, the court graciously granted Sowore bail, with conditions attached therein.
“One of such conditions, was a restriction on addressing public gatherings, until the criminal trial was concluded.
“In his characteristic disobedience to law and properly constituted authorities, Sowore has continued to observe that aspect of his bail conditions in the breach,” it added.
“We recall that after his bail, Mr Sowore desperately attempted to relaunch the #EndSARS protests, which effects have been so hard on the country.
“These desperate attempts by Mr Omoyele Sowore to incite the general public against President Buhari and his government just to feather his inordinate ambition is unacceptable.
“We are thereby calling on not just the police but also other security agencies to see Mr Sowore as agent of destabilisation and treat him as one,” it charged.