Sani urges release of Sowore to avoid bad precedent
The executive director of Centre for Peace and Development, Senator Shehu Sani, has urged the authorities to free the former presidential candidate of African Action Congress (AAC), Omoyele Sowore.
He condemned the continuous detention of the activist by the Department of State Services (DSS) despite a court order for his release.
Sowore was still clamped in detention more than 24 hours after meeting his bail condition as set by Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja, on Tuesday.
He was arrested by the DSS for alleged treason after he called for a nationwide protest tagged #RevolutionNow.
The senator stated that disrespect for court orders would only teach citizens to resist laws, adding that any citizen of a democratic state held in captivity against the law of his country “is a hostage of an autocratic power.”
According to Sani, when court orders are disrespected, the laws of the land are desecrated and justice incinerated.
“Over the sky of any nation where the commandments of its court are disregarded and disrespected, a cloud of authoritarianism gathers.
“The government should respect the law and should not be inspired by the lawlessness and psychopathic ideology of bandits and insurgents.
“If Sowore has broken any law, let the scale of justice determine his fate and not the machete of power,” Sani stated.
However, the DSS said that it was still holding the activists because his legal team had yet to serve it with a copy of the court order granting him bail.
In the same vein, a rights group, We the People, has asserted that federal and state governments were becoming increasingly repressive of perceived opposition in the country.
The executive director, Ken Henshaw, said the arrest of two online journalists and AAC members, Sowere and Agba Jalingo, by the federal and Cross River State governments respectively was an indicator that the country was sinking deeper into repression.
Henshaw told The Guardian in Calabar that the detention of Jalingo for 36 days on charges of plotting to overthrow the government of Cross River gave the impression that governments were out to intimidate anyone with contrary view.
He also noted the recent ban on protests in Rivers State.