The Archbishop of Canterbury, Most Revd Justin Portal Welby, has responded to a letter by Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) urging him to use his office and friendship with President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure the obedience to court orders for the release of political activists, Omoyele Sowore and Olawale Bakare from detention.
SERAP’s deputy director, Kolawole Oluwadare, in the letter to the Archbishop expressed “serious concerns about the disturbing trends by state governments and federal government to use the court as a tool to suppress citizens’ human rights.”
Responding on behalf of the Archbishop, Dominic Goodall, the Chief Correspondence Officer at the Lambeth Palace, said via an email last night said: “Much as he would like to, the Archbishop is unable to respond personally in detail, so I have been asked to reply to you on his behalf.
“Thank you for taking the time to share your comments and concerns on this matter, which have been noted. Please be assured that I will communicate your concerns to the Archbishop and his staff team, so that they are aware of your concerns. Thank you again for taking the time to write.”
Oluwadare said: “We are delighted that our letter and the concerns that it raises have caught the attention of the Archbishop.
“Given his public record for justice and human rights, we have absolutely no doubt that he will prevail on President Buhari to obey not just the court order for the release of Sowore and Bakare but all court orders.
“But it should never have reached this level, as the government ought to have obeyed court orders as a matter of routine.”
SERAP in a letter dated 11 November had urged the Archbishop “to persuade President Buhari to promote the rule of law in words and in action by obeying all court orders including the order for the releasing of Sowore and Bakare from arbitrary detention.”