There will be a global protest for the release of Omoyele Sowore, a prominent Nigerian journalist, human rights activist and pro-democracy campaigner.
The protest, according to the TakeItBack Movement, will hold on 18 September in Nigeria and across Nigeria embassies in European countries like Germany, Netherlands, Italy and Spain.
Using the hashtag #FreeSoworeNow, the organizers said the protest will also hold on 19 September at the Nigeria embassies in Canada and the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
Sowore, founder of Sahara Reporters, an online news hub based in New York City that focuses on corruption, human rights abuses and other political misconduct in Nigeria, was arrested on August 3, 2019 and detained by the Department of State Services (DSS) over alleged an plan to topple Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari through a protest tagged #RevolutionNow.
But Sowore denied planning to topple Buhari, adding that he only mobilized Nigerians to protest against bad governance, kidnapping, killings and other vices rocking the country.
Despite Sowore’s arrest and detention, the 5 August #RevolutionNow protests took place in Abuja, Lagos, Osun, Ondo and Cross River but protesters were dispersed with teargas and gunshots by the police. Numerous protesters, including several of Sahara Reporters’ journalists, were arrested and charged with illegal assembly.
The Nigerian government subsequently obtained a court order on 8 August to keep Sowore in detention for 45 days, while it conducts its investigation before charging him for treason.
Efforts made by his (Sowore) team of lawyers and lead counsel, Femi Falana, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), to free him have so far proved abortive. Bail applications filed by the lawyers challenging Sowore’s detention order were dismissed by the court.