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ATTACK ON LIBERTY: Tracking Nigeria Police, DSS’ Continued Attacks On Sowore On Court Premises

Nigeria's DSS has directly, and through hired thugs, attacked Sowore on court premises.

Human rights activist Omoyele Sowore was illegally abducted by Nigeria's secret police, Department of State Services (DSS) on August 3rd, 2019.

Sowore was arrested for planning #RevolutionNow, a series of protests to demand an end to corruption and better living conditions for all citizens. 


Peter Afunanya, spokesman for the secret police, said the agency went after Sowore because he crossed the “red line”

On September 30, 2019, DSS operatives manhandled Sowore in court for speaking with journalists.

This would begin what has now become a series of attacks on the activist, on court premises.

Nigeria's DSS has directly, and through hired thugs, attacked Sowore on court premises.

On December 6, 2019, DSS officials, wielding guns, stormed a federal high court, in Abuja, where Sowore had gone to enforce his fundamental rights, to forcefully arrest him.

The judge and court staffers fled the courtroom in the chaos that ensued. 

The DSS operatives who had forced themselves into the courtroom, physically assaulted Sowore. 

In an interview with journalists in the courtroom, Sowore said the DSS had told him that he would not walk out of its custody alive. 

On February 6, 2021, a police officer who had tortured and broken Sowore’s nose during #CrossOverProtest on January 1 came to court with the same squad to intimidate the activist on the court premises. 

On July 26, 2021, the Nigeria Police Force and DSS unleashed violence on Sowore as he arrived at the Federal High Court in Abuja to witness the trial of Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). 

On October 21, 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 on the scene in vehicles. 

But to the surprise of everyone, the security agents including the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Federal Secretariat Police Station looked on as the activist was being assaulted.

On December 2, the DSS added to the already swelling list of attacks against Sowore’s liberty on court premises.

Thursday’s attack was not the first time the DSS would be mobilising thugs to go after Sowore – the latest incident only adds to an already swelling list.

Armed thugs hired by the DSS attacked Sowore as he made his way out of the Federal High Court, Abuja. 

Immediately they sighted him, the thugs rushed towards Sowore and started throwing stones at the activist and the people with him.

As he navigated his way out of the court premises, the thugs rained several more stones on his car, damaging the shields, windows and some other parts. 

Global human rights body, Amnesty International has since condemned the attack and expressed concerns over the safety and liberty of Sowore. 

A legal and advocacy organisation, Socio-Economic Rights And Accountability Project (SERAP) also condemned the violent attack on Sowore on December 2.



Human Rights