Top-ranking member of the United States Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee, Bob Menendez, has hailed the release of pro-democracy campaigner and journalist, Omoyele Sowore, by the Nigerian Government on Tuesday.
Reacting to the news in a statement, the lawmaker, who is among leading American legislators that added their voices to calls for Sowore’s release in recent weeks, said that he was delighted at the news and would continue to watch subsequent events surrounding the journalist’s trial.
Menendez said, “I’m gratified to hear of Mr Sowore’s release, and I expect the Government of Nigeria to ensure his continued safety and security now that he is out of custody.
“I am hopeful that moving forward we can rely on the Nigerian justice system for a transparent, credible legal process.
“I plan to continue to closely watch further proceedings in Mr Sowore’s case.”
Sowore was first arrested on August 3, 2019 for calling on Nigerians to take to the streets in peaceful demonstrations to demand a better country from the government and remained in detention until December 5 when he was briefly released on bail.
On December 6, he was rearrested inside the Federal High Court, Abuja, by Department of State Services operatives and had remained in custody until Tuesday when Malami gave the latest release order.
During his time in detention, the DSS flouted two court orders directing the journalist’s release after meeting stringent bail conditions.