A former federal lawmaker and rights activist, Senator Shehu Sani, has hailed the release of pro-democracy campaigner and Publisher of SaharaReporters, Omoyele Sowore, by the Department of State Services on Thursday evening.
The lawmaker described the 48-year-old’s release in compliance with the order of the Federal High Court, Abuja, after more than four months in detention, as a big relief for the entire country and welcome development.
Sani attributed Sowore’s long walk to freedom as a product of resilience and courage demonstrated by the trial judge and defendant’s legal team led by Femi Falana (SAN).
The former lawmaker added that Sowore's ordeal and detention by the DSS had tainted the image of the Nigerian Government on human rights and respect for the rule of law.
He called on Nigerians to stand up against any anti-people policies of the government that may stifle their rights to free speech.
Sowore was released by the secret police alongside his co-defendant, Olawale Bakare popularly known as Mandate, few hours after a ruling by Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court in Abuja ordering the DSS to set them free within 24 hours.
Sowore was arrested in Lagos on August 3, 2019 for calling on Nigerians to take to the streets in peaceful demonstrations to demand a better country from President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
Famed globally for exposing Nigeria's corrupt politicians through his pioneering online news medium – SaharaReporters – Sowore is being accused and was held by the government for insulting Buhari and planning to bring down his regime – charges observers around the world have described as baseless.