From Okwe Obi, Abuja
Activists under the aegis of Coalition of African Human Rights Network (COAHURIN) have requested the revocation of a bail bond earlier granted to the publisher of Sahara Reporters, Omoyele Sowore, for allegedly breaching the conditions for attempting to stage a protest.
Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court had on October 4, 2019, granted a bail of N100 million to Sowore following his arrest and detention by the Department of State Service in the #RevolutionNow protest he called.
Part of the conditions given to Sowore was for him to produce two sureties in the like sum of N100 million, N50 million to be deposited with the court while the balance was to be put in place should Sowore jump bail.
But, in a statement by COAHURIN Nigeria’s Representative, Funke Ajibola, and Director, Public Affairs, 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.
Ajibola further sought a thorough probe of Sowore and charged the Federal Government to remain firm in its responsibility of taking actions aimed at safeguarding the country and its citizens.
‘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.
‘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 an agent of destabilisation and treat him as one,’ he said.