The United States Senator Cory Anthony Booker has said the invasion of the Federal High Court, Abuja, to re-arrest RevolutionNow convener and Publisher of Sahara Reporter Omoyele Sowore is a shocking affront to Nigeria’s rule of law.
“It’s appalling that NJ journalist Omoyele Sowore was re-arrested in Nigeria hours after his release,” Booker said on Twitter on Friday.
“This is a shocking affront to the country’s rule of law and Nigeria must cease its dangerous attacks on freedom of expression.”
Operatives of the Department of Security Service (DSS) on Friday re-arrested Sowore barely 24hours after his release.
Sowore was released on Thursday night after the court gave Nigeria’s secret police a 24-hour ultimatum to release him.
The court also awarded N100,000 against the prosecution for failing to comply with court orders requesting the release of Sowore and for not serving the defence counsel with necessary documents early enough.
At the resumed hearing on Friday, Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu after court proceedings adjourned the case till February 11 and 12 and 13, 2020 for definite hearing.
But as everyone filed out of the courtroom, no fewer than 15 armed officers of the DSS, who had laid an ambush for the defendants, made their way towards Sowore and his co-defendant Bakare.
There was a stampede as the officers cocked their guns scaring people away.
Sowore and Bakare, however, resisted being rearrested, running back into the courtroom.
Amidst the commotion that pervaded the courtroom, the officers of the DSS stood their ground on rearresting the defendants.
This event, however, has generated outrage on social media as Nigerians condemned the actions of the DSS as a violation of the country’s rule of law.
The actions of the secret service have also attracted international leaders’ condemnation who have called on the release of Sowore. (The Guardian)