The Continuous detention of Publisher of Sahara reporter, Omoyele Sowore in Dss cell has continued to generate more criticism from a civil society group and opposition political party.
The coalition of united political parties, (CUPP) believes the continued detention of Sahara reporter’s publisher and other suspects who have been granted bail by the court is indeed unconstitutional, and stand condemned
An opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), on Friday in a statement also opposed the continued detention of Sowore and other suspects who have been granted bail
The PDP National Publicity Secretary, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan and the CUPP spokesman, Mr Imo Ugochinyere spoke in separate interviews with journalists in Abuja.
Ologbondiyan said, “We are also worried that critics and those who do not share the same viewpoint with the same people in government are being incarcerated. We are concerned about our member in Kano State, Dan Dayita, who has not been released and has been denied access to his family.
Ugochinyere said, “The continued detention of Sowore is the highest affront to our constitution. It is a kind of military overthrow of the institution of democracy. It is obstruction of justice.”
This is despite the announcement by the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), on December 13 that he had taken over the prosecution of Sowore from the DSS.
The hope in the camp of Sowore, who is also the convener of #RevolutionNow protests, that he would be released from custody promptly with the AGF’s takeover of the case was dashed after the minister announced days later that he could not ask the DSS to release him from custody.
Sowore, who was re-arrested on December 6, within 24 hours of being released from detention that lasted over four months, has been detained by the DSS for two weeks without fresh charge instituted against him.
His lead counsel Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), described his client’s re-arrest at the Federal High Court in Abuja on December 6, and continued detention as illegal.
He said there was no warrant of arrest issued for the activist’s re-arrest or any order issued by a court to justify his continued detention.
Sowore and his co-defendant, Olawale Bakare, was first arrested in August and were later in September charged with treasonable felony among other offences, for calling for the ‘RevolutionNow’ protests, which the Federal Government interpreted to be a call for an overthrow of democratic president duly elected by Nigerian people.
But ruling on an application which was moved by one of Sowore’s lawyers, Mr Marshal Abubakar on Tuesday, Justice Inyang Ekwo said he needed to hear from the two defendants before taking a decision on the request for the “unconditional release” of Sowore.
He then adjourned the case till December 23 as he directed the Deputy Chief Registrar of the court to serve hearing notices on the two defendants.
The December 23 proceedings which would be presided over by a vacation judge would likely address the only preliminary issue.
Falana had said in a statement on Tuesday that has taken over the prosecution of Sowore and his co-defendant, the AGF was duty-bound to ask the DSS to release Sowore from the “illegal” custody of the DSS.
Falana said Malami could not wash his hands off the “illegal detention” of the Sahara Reporters publisher like the biblical Pontius Pilate.