Omoyele Sowore

At least 50 Civil Society Organisations have enjoined the United Nations and the African Union to prevail on the Nigerian Government to immediate release Omoyele Sowore.

Despite a Federal High Court, Abuja, ruling on Tuesday that the Department of State Services should release Sowore on bail, the security agency is still holding on to him.

As a result, the CSOs renewed their call for his freedom by taking the matter to the UN and AU.

Programme Director for MRA, Mr Ayode Longe, said, “It is antithetical to the tenets of democracy to arrest a man who was merely exercising his constitutional right of assembly, association and expression and the height of impunity to continue to detain him even after a court of competent jurisdiction has granted him bail.

“The DSS must immediately and unconditionally release Sowore.”

Commenting on the charges, Nwachukwu Egbunike of Global Voices said, “Omoyele Sowore's continued detention and the charges of treason affirm our position that this trial is merely a criminalisation of political dissent.

“We call on the Nigerian Government to honour its own laws and the international treaties it is a signatory to and release Sowore unconditionally.”

Also speaking on the matter, Oluwadare Kolawole of the Socio Economic Rights and Accountability Project said, “Sowore’s case and several similar cases instigated by state governors make a hideous mockery of Nigeria’s criminal justice system, rule of law, freedom of expression and media freedom.

“Invoking charges of treasonable felony to unjustifiably or arbitrarily restrict the right to freedom of opinion and expression undermine the essence of the criminal justice system and the rule of law.”

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