Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs, New York, United States, has condemned the continued detention of its alumnus, Omoyele Sowore, by the Nigerian Government despite fulfilling the bail condition initially set by Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja.
Sowore, a pro-democracy campaigner and Publisher of Sahara Reporters, obtained his Master’s degree in Public Administration from the renowned institution.
The university in a post on Twitter, said Sowore had pioneered new and important avenues in the field of investigative journalism, therefore his arrest stands condemned.
The tweet reads, “Condemning Omoyele Sowore’s continued detention by the DSS even after reportedly meeting his bail conditions.
“Sowore is a world-renowned journalist. He has pioneered new and important avenues in the field of investigative journalism.”
Sowore was arrested by the DSS in Lagos on August 3, 2019 for calling on Nigerians to take to the streets in peaceful demonstrations to express their displeasure at the poor state of governance in the country.
On September 30, Justice Taiwo had granted him bail and ordered the DSS to release him after he met the condition given by depositing his international passport with the court.
But despite that ruling, President Muhammadu Buhari’s regime refused to free him, attracting condemnation from across the world.
On Friday however, Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the same court again granted Sowore bail but this time with stringent conditions.
Sowore was asked to provide N100m and two sureties in like sum.
Justice Ojukwu also said that one of the sureties must own landed property and deposit N50m and show evidence of tax payment since 2016, while Sowore was barred from travelling outside Abuja and also speaking to the press.
The government is charging Sowore for acts of money laundering, insulting Buhari and planning to bring down his government – charges the pro-democracy campaigner vehemently denies and that had been described by legal practitioners across and beyond Nigeria as laughable and baseless.
The matter was adjourned to November 6, 7 and 8 for accelerated trial by the court.