Human rights activist, Omoyele Sowore, has recounted how hoodlums hired by the Department of State Services (DSS) injured him and damaged his car, while he was attending the trial of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, at the Federal High Court in Abuja on Thursday.
Sowore, in an account titled, “Nnamdi Kanu’s Trial: Deadly Attack on my person at the Federal High Court in Abuja,” narrated how the DSS Director of Operations informed the court security personnel to withdraw from the scene whenever the thugs were about to attack him (Sowore).
SaharaReporters had reported how armed thugs hired by the DSS attacked Sowore as he made his way out of the court in Abuja.
Sowore had visited the court on Thursday morning to attend the emergency hearing in Kanu's case.
While Sowore attended the court session, the armed thugs in large numbers laid siege around, waiting for him to come out of the place. Immediately they sighted him, the thugs rushed towards him and started throwing stones at the activist and his entourage.
As he navigated his way out of the court premises, the thugs rained several more stones on his car, damaging the vehicle.
Narrating the incident, Sowore said, “I was at the Federal High Court in Abuja today to cover, observe and witness the trial of IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu before Justice Binta Nyako.
“Soon as court proceedings ended I left the court room and tried going to my next assignment in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja. As soon as I reached the gate of the Federal High Court, I was alerted to the large presence of thugs and hoodlums carrying dangerous weapons. I had been briefed that these persons were mobilised by Nigeria’s secret police known as the DSS. During my last appearance in court for the same purpose, they physically attacked me while the DSS and police pushed me back to them; this was captured on tape.
“My lawyers wrote a petition to the police and the DG of DSS specifically requesting for their prosecution of the 'thugs' and their officers involved in these infamous acts but the security agencies either ignored the petitions or played hookie.
“Today, as I drove away from the courtroom, I was attacked with dangerous objects leading to the destruction of my car and injuries to some of the occupants in the car travelling with me. I sustained minor injuries from broken glasses. These assailants were brought by the DSS according to Federal court security. It is not their first time.
“The federal DSS Director of Operations even informed court security to 'withdraw' whenever I was to be attacked. Since my partial release in December 2019, the police and DSS have tried to maim or kill me in several documented/reported incidents of abuse and assault including the shooting of a riot gun, physical attacks and recently the use of non-state actors to violently assault me in public.
“Unfortunately, the Nigerian media haven’t reported or investigated these violent deadly attacks.”
SaharaReporters had noted that Thursday’s attack was not the first time the DSS would be mobilising thugs to go after Sowore – the latest incident adds to an already swelling list.
On November 9, about 20 thugs were recruited by the DSS to attack Sowore while he attended the trial of Kanu at the same court.
An insider had disclosed how some DSS officials met with the hoodlums on the morning of that day to brief them on how to carry out the attack on the activist.
In October this year, the DSS also colluded with thugs to attack Sowore in front of the same court after he was denied entry by policemen during Kanu’s trial.
It took the intervention of some journalists covering the event to rescue the activist from his attackers, who had arrived at the scene in vehicles.