Rights activist Omoyele Sowore has cried out over an alleged plot to arrest and detain him. In a statement published on his Facebook page, the publisher of the online news platform SaharaReporters accused the presidency of working with the Nigerian army and the judiciary to obtain an unjustifiable court order for his renewed detention over the revelation of SaharaReporters that the chief of staff to the president, Abba Kyari, had been infected with the coronavirus (COVID-19). Mr Kyari had tested positive for the disease after an official trip to Germany.
“Our lawyers have now written to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court of Nigeria apprising him of the plot by the Nigerian Army seeking to detain me for revealing “classified information on SaharaReporters,” Sowore, , who is also the convener of #RevolutionNow protests, said.
“Their latest bogey to make it sound like I am part of the network of terrorists in the country, under the same guise they fraudulently obtained a detention order from Justice Taiwo Taiwo on August 8 2019 claiming I went to Dubai to collect money to overthrow the bumbling regime, when they discovered I had never been to Dubai, they quickly dropped the terrorism claims, and instead filed some other ridiculously malicious charges that they haven’t been able to prosecute till date.”
Sowore, who was detained from August until December last year, further alleged that: “Upon disclosure of Muhammadu Buhari’s Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari’s COVID-19 status they tapped the Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Tukur Buratai to get his army to go to court in order to get another detention order to detain me in a military facility where I could be tortured and infected with COVID-19 under the bogus assertion that I am revealing classified information on SaharaReporters”.
Publishing official documentary evidence, which buttresses his allegations, Sowore called on Nigerians to pay attention to the latest efforts to incarcerate him.
“Their plot is thickening by the day, but resistance is the only way an oppressed people can gain liberty,” he added.
“A documentary evidence obtained from the Federal court also attached below, revealed that after I was abducted in court on December 5th 2019, the DSS rushed to court to seek an exparte order to detain me for 90-days ostensibly claiming, according to them, that I partook in killing policemen alongside IPOB members in Anambra state. This insane request was withdrawn from Justice Inyang Ekwo’s court in February 2020.”
Sowore was detained from 3 August until he was freed on bail on 24 December, following massive local and international pressure on the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to obey court rulings freeing the activist. He’s still not been able to travel back to his base in New York as he’s barred from doing so under the terms of his temporary freedom.
Sowore was arrested before the commencement of a nationwide protest, tagged #RevolutionNow, he had called for. The planned action was to protest the reigning insecurity, economic despondency and mass unemployment in the country.