Sowore: CACOL reacts as DSS ‘refuses’ to release Publisher


The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL, has decried the clampdown on some protesters who had gathered on the premises of the Department of State Services, DSS, to demand the release of Omoyele Sowore, convener of RevolutionNow Movement and Olawale Bakare.
Sowore is currently held in custody of the secret police against court order.
Last Wednesday, a Federal High Court in Abuja, ordered the release of the Publisher alongside Olawale Adebayo.
But the DSS is yet to comply with the order and had claimed no surety had come to take Sowore on bail.
However, reacting, a statement signed by CACOL’s Coordinator, Media and Publications, Adegboyega Otunuga, and forwarded to DAILY POST, expressed disappointment over Sowore’s continued detention.
The organization advised the DSS and other Nigerian security agencies to be ‘correctly guided of their operations, nuances and limitations under democracy so as not to resort to any arm-twisting or repressive attitudes.
The statement reads in part, “The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL, received the news on the repression and teargassing of some Nigerians who were at the State Security Service (SSS) headquarters to receive their leader, Mr. Sowore Omoyele, who has been in DSS custody for over three (3) months running now over an allegation that borders on treasonable felony and ‘cyber stalking’.
”For the umpteenth time, we are reiterating our position of disappointment over the arrest of Sowore just on the basis of publicly decrying the socio-economic situation in the country and for calling on far-reaching reforms that could give necessary reliefs to majority Nigerians. This is because, felonious offences like treason or treasonable felony goes beyond mere mouthing of the word ‘Revolution’, especially in a democracy where people should exercise their rights of expression and opinions, even if suspected to be malicious. The only option left to any aggrieved party in such circumstance was a resort to court action if such statements are found malicious or derogatory to the aggrieved party, irrespective of how highly placed.
“It is therefore tantamount to adding salt to a wound, where such wrongfully incarcerated was given the benefits of bail by a judge of competent court of jurisdiction which an agency of government (SSS, in this instance) is willfully and recklessly refusing to obey by any means possible, contrary to the rule of law and known tenets of democratic order.
”For the avoidance of any doubt, the rights to protest, associate and assemble for either individual or collective interests is a fundamental right of citizens as enshrined and recognized by the 1999 Nigerian Constitution (as amended), once they are not effected under any violence or coercion. These rights are not qualified or deflated by place or location, especially where such location is a public space like the Secret Police headquarters in Abuja or even the statehouse itself.
”This is why protests have been held by their citizens, severally at the Capitol or CIA, FBI Headquarters in United States of America (USA), United Kingdom, UK, and other democracies in the world. It is the height of disrespect and open defecation of the groundnurm (our Constitution) therefore, for the commanding structure of the Secret Police to blatantly and willfully disobey courts’ order instructing that Sowore Omoyele be immediately released after satisfying stringent bail conditions earlier imposed on him by Justice Ojukwu of the Abuja Federal High court.
“While we are using this medium to advise the DSS and other Nigerian security apparatus to be rightly and correctly guided of their operations, nuances and limitations under a democracy, so as not to resort to any arm-twisting or repressive attitudes over legitimate and peaceful agitations under any guise, we insist that the judicial order instructing on the immediate release of Mr. Omoyele Sowore should be obeyed immediately without further resort to any hoodwinking or procrastination. As veritable stakeholders in the Nigerian project, the DSS as an agent of the Executive, judiciary and other arms of government must at all times, be seen to operate within the ambit of the rule of law and Separation of power, without which the state and the general public descend into an Hobbesian state of Nature.”

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