Group tasks Malami on treason charges against Sowore, Bakare
The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abukabar Malami, to drop the treason charges against the detained convener of ‘RevolutionNow’ protest, Omoyele Sowore, and Olawale Bakare (popularly known as Mandate).
The last weekend’s filing of a seven-count charge of treason and money laundering against the publisher of the online news medium, Sahara Reporters, has attracted condemnations from Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, and Amnesty International.
In condemning the action, Soyinka said the charge was indicative that the President Muhammadu Buhari administration had attained an “unprecedented level of paranoia”, while Amnesty described the act as dictatorial and unwarranted.
But SERAP urged Malami to end the case for being a ‘mockery of justice’ by entering “a nolle prosequi and discontinue the prosecution of Sowore and Bakare
In a letter to the AGF dated September21, 2019 and made available to The Guardian yesterday, the rights group urged the minister to use his position as a trustee of public interest under Section 174 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) to end the “trumped-up cases going on in several states.”
In the correspondence signed by its deputy director, Kolawole Oluwadare, SERAP said: “Sowore’s case and several similar cases instigated/brought by state governors make a hideous mockery of Nigeria’s criminal justice system, rule of law, freedom of expression and media freedom. These cases are persecution and not prosecution. As the guardian of public interest, you have a role to end this travesty now, and to maintain the sanctity and integrity of the nation’s justice system.”