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HomeExclusiveSERAP Calls For Sowore’s Unconditional Release

SERAP Calls For Sowore’s Unconditional Release

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By Babajide Okeowo

Legal and advocacy organisation, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has called on the Nigerian government to unconditionally release the Publisher of Sahara Reporters, Omoyele Sowore from detention or face legal and international action.

The group in a tweet via its official Twitter handle disclosed that if Sowore is not released in 48 hours, they will institute legal action against the Buhari-led administration.

“Nigerian authorities must immediately and unconditionally release Omoyele Sowore and other activists reportedly arrested and tortured during a peaceful protest last night in Abuja.

We’ll take legal/international action if Sowore & others are not released within 48 hours” the group stated.

Recall that the Sahara Reporters Publisher, Sowore, and other activists were arrested in the wee hours of the New Year for holding a protest in Abuja.

Sowore had before his arrest, sent out a series of tweets calling on Nigerians to join him on a protest against the regime of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).

He had tweeted, “How about a crossover protest/uprising tonight? Is anyone willing to participate? Pick up a candle and a placard showing your grievances against the regime; let’s upload our short videos and photos across our social media platforms. Let’s welcome the regime to a resolute 2021!

“#CrossoverWithProtest against tyrant @mbuhari’s regime, candlelight for #LekkiMassacre; a placard for #EndBadGovernment; procession to usher in #Revolutionary 2021, a fist for victims of repression-frozen bank accounts, malicious prosecution and detention of #Endsars activists.

“#Crossoverwithprotest starts at 11.30 till 12.30 am across Nigeria, a candle, a placard and fireworks to usher in a RESOLUTE 2021 in Nigeria! Join with your friends and neighbours ‪#EndSARS. ‪#ObigboMassacre ‪#LekkiMassacre ‪#EndBadGoveranceInNigeria ‪#BuhariTrainwreck ‪#RevolutionNow.”

It was learned that scores of armed policemen around midnight accosted the protesters at Gudu Junction injuring some of them in the process.

They were subsequently taken to a police unit infamously known as ‘Abattoir’ in the Lokogoma area of the FCT.

Sowore, who was declared a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International in 2019, was detained for several months by the Buhari regime for allegedly calling for a revolution.

He was denied bail several times and even re-arrested inside the Federal High Court. However, he was released after domestic and international pressure in December 2019.

The activist is currently standing trial for alleged treason.

The Police Public Relations Officer for the FCT, Mariam Yusuf, refused to speak when she was contacted for comment on Friday.

Sowore’s lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), who confirmed the arrest, said he had not been able to locate his client because the police had failed to reveal his location.

Falana said there was no basis for the arrest, adding that Sowore had not flouted his bail conditions.

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